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e Project Gutenberg EBook of From Farm to Fortune, by Horatio

ger Jr.

is eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with

most no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away

-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includ

th this eBook or online at

tle: From Farm to Fortune

Nat Nason's Strange Experience

thor: Horatio Alger Jr.

lease Date: September 10, 2007 [EBook #22565]

nguage: English


oduced by David Edwards, Mary Meehan and the Online

stributed Proofreading Team at (This

le was produced from scans of public domain material

oduced by Microsoft for their Live Search Books site.)


Or, Nat Nason's Strange Experience

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Copyright, 1905


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REFACEHAPTER I. Nat on the Farm

HAPTER II. A Quarrel in the BarnyardHAPTER III. Nat Leaves the Farm

HAPTER IV. Abner Balberry's DiscoveryHAPTER V. The Sale of a CowHAPTER VI. Nat on Lake ErieHAPTER VII. An Adventure at Niagara Falls

HAPTER VIII. A Fresh Start in LifeHAPTER IX. First Days in New York 

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. u o or nce oreHAPTER XI. What a Hundred Dollars DidHAPTER XII. On the Brooklyn Bridge

HAPTER XIII. A Swindle ExposedHAPTER XIV. Nat Obtains Another SituationHAPTER XV. Abner and the Widow Guff HAPTER XVI. Abner Visits New York 

HAPTER XVII. A Case of Mistaken IdentityHAPTER XVIII. Nat Meets His UncleHAPTER XIX. Nat Becomes a Private Clerk HAPTER XX. Rufus Cameron's Bold Move

HAPTER XXI. A Missing Document of ValueHAPTER XXII. At the Elevated StationHAPTER XXIII. Tom Nolan's ConfessionHAPTER XXIV. The Papers in the Trunk 

HAPTER XXV. Back to the CityHAPTER XXVI. Fred Gives up City LifeHAPTER XXVII. A Scene at the Hotel

HAPTER XXVIII. A Sudden ProposalHAPTER XXIX. The Capture of Nick SmithersHAPTER XXX. Nat Comes into His Own

he Enterprise Books


at Nason was a oor countr bo with a stron desire to better

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 ndition. Life on the farm was unusually hard for him, and after a quarrel w

s miserly uncle, with whom he resided, he resolved to strike out for himself

at was poor and it was a struggle to reach the great city, where the you

usted that fame and fortune awaited him.

he boy obtained, by accident, a fair sum of money and with this he resolvgo into a business of some kind. But a sharper quickly relieved him of h

ealth, and opened Nat's eyes to the fact that he was not as shrewd as he hought himself to be.

he lesson proved a valuable one, and from that moment the country boy d

s best to not alone win success but to deserve it. He worked hard, oftene midst of great difficulties, and what the outcome of his struggle was, will und in the pages which follow.

penning this tale the author has endeavored to show the difference betwee in a quiet country place and in a great bustling city, and especially as thfference shows itself to the eyes of a country boy. Many country la

magine that to go to the city and win success there is easy; perhaps they wot think it so easy after they have read of what happened to Nat Nasoore than once, in spite of his grit and courage, Nat came close to makingmplete failure of what he had started out to do, and his success in the e

as perhaps after all not as great as he had anticipated when first striking ou


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Nat, where have you been?"

Been fishing," answered the boy addressed, a sturdy youth of sixteen, wear blue eyes and sandy hair.

ishin'? And who said you could go fishin'?" demanded Abner Balberry, s high, nervous voice.

Nobody said I could go," answered the boy, firmly. "But I thought you'd ke to have some fish for supper, so I went."

Humph! I suppose you thought as how them taters would hoe themselv?" sneered Abner Balberry, who was not only Nat's uncle, but also h


hoed the potatoes," was the boy's answer. "Got through at half-past twclock."

f you got through so soon you didn't half do the job," grumbled the man.n't goin' to have you wastin' your time on no fishin', understand?"

Can't I go fishing at all?"

Not when there is work to do on this farm."

But I did my work, Uncle Abner."

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n say cou n ave een one r g ye n a e proper  me erat Nason! I know you! You are gittin' lazy!"

m not lazy!" cried the boy, indignantly. "I work as hard as anybody aroun


Don't you talk back to me!" ejaculated Abner Balberry. "I say you are laz

' I know. How many fish did ye catch?"

only got two. They didn't bite very well to-day."

Humph! A-wastin' three hours an' more jest to catch two little fish! If I let y

o your own way, Nat Nason, you'll be in the poorhouse before you die."

don't think I'll ever get to the poorhouse, Uncle Abner."

Oh, don't talk back! Take your fish to the kitchen an' then git down to t

rnyard as quick as you can. You've got to help me milk to-night. An' donou dare to go fishin' ag'in, unless I give ye permission," added Abnalberry, as he strode off towards the barn.

sharp answer arose to Nat Nason's lips, but he checked it and turnward the kitchen of the farmhouse.

What luck did you have, Nat?" questioned the did woman who was Abnalberry's housekeeper.

Not much luck, Mrs. Felton. They didn't bite very well to-day."

What was Mr. Balberry saying to you?" went on Mrs. Felton, who had beousekeeper at the place since the death of Mrs. Balberry, two years before

He was mad because I went fishing."

am sorry to hear that."Uncle Abner never wants me to have an s ort."

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He's a hard-working man, and always was, Nat. He doesn't believe asting time."

But a fellow ought to have a little time off."

That may be true."Don't you think I work pretty hard for a boy of my age?"

do, Nat."

Uncle Abner wants to make a regular slave out of a fellow."

Didn't he say you were to help him milk to-night?"

Yes, and I might as well get at it right away. If I don't, he'll give me anothwing," answered the boy, and placing his fish on a bench, he strode ward the barnyard.

at Nason was an orphan, the only child of Mr. William Nason, who h

en a brother to the late Mrs. Balberry. The boy's father had been killed innaway and his mother had never gotten over the shock of the sudden deat

When the youth found himself an orphan he was taken in by his Aunt Marho did what she could for him. The Nasons had not been rich, so there wtle or no money coming to Nat. From the start he was told that he must ea

s own living, and this he proceeded to do to the best of his ability.

he death of his Aunt Mary was almost as much of a blow to the lad as t

ss of his mother, for it left him under the entire charge of his uncle, Abnalberry. The latter had no children of his own and he made Nat work rd as if he were a full-grown man.

he Balberry farm was located in Ohio, not far from the town of Caswellnsisted of one hundred acres of ood land with a house and seve

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 utbuildings. Among his neighbors Abner Balberry was considered teanest man in the district. Abner himself thought he was a pretty good md he counted himself a real "pillow" of the church, as he expressed it.

or two years life on the Balberry farm had been one continual grind to N

ason. He was expected to work from morning to night, and such a thing ahole day off was utterly unknown to him. He received next to nothing in tay of spending money.

ll save the money fer ye," Abner Balberry would say, when questioned e subject. "'Tain't good fer boys to have too much cash on hand. It makm reckless."

But you never give me anything," had been Nat's answer.

Never mind—I'm a-givin' you a good home an' good eatin'," was the answe

he good home and good fare were something to be questioned. Nat's rooas a small one under the roof, his clothing usually made over from t

rments worn by Mr. Balberry, and such a thing as an elaborate table wnknown on the farm. Many times Mrs. Felton had wished to cook more, ake some fancy dishes, but Abner Balberry had always stopped her froing such a thing.

lain fare is good enough," he would say. "An' if ye eat too much it on

ings on the dyspepsy." More than once Nat went to bed feeling positiveungry.

When Nat reached the barnyard he found his uncle already there with the m

ils and milking an old white cow called Sukey.

Go on down the lane and drive up Jule," cried Abner Balberry, witho

opping his milking. "She just went down that way."


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, ,e lane mentioned.

le was a new cow that the farmer had purchased a week before. She dot seem inclined to herd with the other animals and Nat had had quite a go

al of trouble with her before.

t the end of the lane was an orchard and here he found the cow, contentedting the fresh grass. She tried to get away from him, but he was too quir the creature and soon had her turned around and headed up the lane. Thstopped to get an apple, for his fishing trip had made him hungry and

new that supper was still a good hour off.

wish I had some other kind of a job," he murmured, with a sigh. "Somehorming doesn't seem to be just the right thing for me. Wish I was in some by."

Hurry up with that cow!" cried Abner Balberry. "Do you think I'm going op here all night fer milkin'?"

m coming!" sang out Nat. "Get along, Jule, you old slow poke!"

e gave the cow a slap on the side, and away she flew up the lane. The bllowed, finishing the apple as he went.

s it happened several cows were bunched up near the entrance to the lad as the new cow appeared, driven by Nat, the bunch scattered. Then Ju

n directly into the barnyard.

Hi! hi! stop!" yelled Abner Balberry. "Drat the beast! Stop!"

ut the new cow did not stop, and a moment later she stepped into a pailful ilk, and tipped it over. Then she ran against another cow that the farmer w

ilking. This cow swerved around, and in a twinkling Abner Balberry wrown on his back and the milk was sent flying over him.

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he sight of Abner Balberry flat on his back, and with the milk flowing ovm, was a comical one, and for the instant Nat had to laugh out-right.

Hi! hi!" roared the farmer. "Git away! Drat the beasts! Now, Nat Nason, jee what you've done!"

e struggled to his feet, and Nat at once became sober, for he realized th

ouble was at hand.

t's too bad, Uncle Abner——" began the youth.

Too bad? I should say it was too bad!" cried the farmer. "An' all your fauo!"

can't see how it was my fault. You told me to drive the cow up here."

Don't tell me, Nat Nason! It's your fault. An' all that fresh milk gone aste!" Abner Balberry gave a groan. "I don't know most what I'm a-goin'

o with you fer this."

can't see how it's my fault."

You made the cows git frightened."

No, I didn't."

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Don't tell me! Don't you know that milk is worth money?"

Yes, but——"

You scart thet cow out o' her wits," went on the farmer, his rage growing looked at the spilt milk. "Nat Nason, I tell you, you're a bad boy!"

o this the youth made no reply.

m a-goin' to teach ye a lesson fer it!"

hall I milk Jule?"

Yes, an' mind ye don't spill a drop nuther!"

lently Nat went to work, and milked not only the new cow but also two

e others. By this time milking was over, and the lacteal fluid was carried e spring-house to cool. Then the cows were allowed to wander down to tsture for the night.

When Nat approached the kitchen again an appetizing odor of frying fish fille air. The boy's uncle followed him.

upper is ready," said Mrs. Felton, cheerfully. "You had some trouble wie cows, didn't you?" she continued.

was Nat's fault," grumbled Abner Balberry. "He made them run around a

pset everything. Nat, I said as how I was going to teach ye a lesson. Yoash up an' go to bed at once."

Go to bed?" queried the boy.

Thet's what I said, didn't I?"

Do you mean right after supper?"


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, , .

Oh, isn't he to have his supper first?" put in the housekeeper, timidly.

No, he ain't."

fter this abrupt declaration there was an awkward pause.

Do you want me to go to bed without my supper?" asked Nat, slowly.

That's what I said."

isn't fair."

Ain't it?"

No, it isn't. It wasn't my fault that the milk was spilt, so there!"

You say much more to me an' I'll tan yer hide well fer ye!" stormed Abnalberry.

Don't you want him to have none of the fish he brought in?" asked t


The fish ain't worth much."

Maybe you'd like to have all the fish yourself?" put in Nat, tartly, before d stopped to think.

ngered at this remark the farmer turned around and caught the youth by tllar and began to shake him.

ll teach ye to talk back to me!" he snarled. "I'll teach ye! Now go to bed, aquick about it."

want my supper!" came doggedly from Nat. He felt that he had earned t

eal and he needed it.

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o a mou u.

f you don't give me my supper I won't work for you any more, Uncbner!"

Wot! Goin' to talk to me like this!" screamed the farmer, and caught the b

nce again. "Up to your room with ye, before I trounce ye well!"e shook Nat fiercely, and a struggle ensued between the pair which came end when a chair was overturned and then a side table on which rest

me of the things for supper.

Oh, the eating!" screamed the housekeeper, in alarm. "And the teapot

mashed!" she added, sadly.

's all Nat's fault," came from Abner Balberry. "He is a good-fer-nuthin', hOff to bed with ye, before I git my horsewhip!"

e opened the door leading to the enclosed stairs, and fearful of anoth

tack Nat retreated. As soon as he was on the stairs, the farmer slammed t

oor shut and bolted it. A minute later he and Mrs. Felton heard the youcend the stairs to his own room.

was kind of hard on the boy to make him go to bed without his suppemarked the housekeeper, as she gathered up the things on the floor.

t's his own fault," snorted the farmer. "He's got to be took down, he has!"

He hasn't had a mouthful since noon, and we had a light dinner, too."

can't help that, Mrs. Felton. I'm goin' to teach him a lesson."

Nat is a high-spirited boy, Mr. Balberry. Maybe he won't stand for it."

He has got to stand fer it," was the answer, from the sink, where the farmas washing his face and hands.

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But if he won't?"

Wot can he do, I'd like to know?"

m sure I don't know—but he may do something that you least expect."

He won't do nuthin'," said the farmer, and sank down in his seat at the tabHe can't do nuthin'. I give him a good home, but he don't seem to a'preciateohow."

o this Mrs. Felton did not reply, but set the food on the table. The fish hot been spoilt, and the farmer ate all he wished of the dish.

Why don't you eat?" he asked of the housekeeper, seeing that she hstained from touching the fish.

—I don't care for it," she answered. She had in mind to save what was ld give it to Nat for his breakfast.

That boy is gittin' too big fer his boots," went on Abner Balberry. "He ac

ke he was of age, an' he is only sixteen. Last week he wanted to know hoon I was goin' to pay him reg'lar wages."

And what did you tell him?"

Told him I'd pay him wages when he was wuth it an' not before."

He does almost a man's work now, doesn't he?"

Not much! Besides, don't I feed an' clothe him an' give him a comfortabome? He's got too high-falutin' notions, he has!"

But don't you think he ought to have some money?" went on Mrs. Feltoho could be a trifle independent herself at times.

No. Money is the ruination o' young folks. Week before last he wanted

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uarter to go to t e circus wit , ut e i n't git it."

Almost all of the boys in this district went to the circus. Tom Bradley told m

was very good, too."

Humph! That Bradley boy is going to the dogs as fast as he can go."

Deacon Slide thinks he is a very good boy."

Well, the deacon don't know everything. I'm goin' to make Nat toe the mantil he is twenty-one. After that I'll wash my hands o' him."

he farmer finished his supper and then went out to see that everything was

ght around the farm for the night. A little later he took a lamp and wepstairs. Tiptoeing his way through an upper hall he came to a pause in fro

Nat's room.

Asleep, jest as I thought," he told himself, after listening to the boeathing. Then he peeped into the room, to behold Nat lying under the covthe bed, with his face turned to the wall.

ll give him another talkin' to in the mornin'," the farmer told himself; and th

tired, with no thought of what was going to happen before the sun aropon another day.



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armer a erry was msta en; at was not aseep, nor was t ere aought of sleep in the boy's mind.

he youth had not even gone to bed. He had been sitting on a chair by t

pen window when he had heard his uncle coming upstairs, and to deceive hlative had jumped into bed and pulled the blanket up over him.

When Nat was thrust up the stairs his mind was in a tumult. He felt that hncle was not treating him fairly—and he wanted his supper very much.

is bad enough to have a real grievance of any kind—it is worse when oust bear it on an empty stomach. As he made his way to his room the bas in a savage humor and fit to do almost any deed.

Uncle Abner is getting worse every day!" he muttered to himself. "He tree worse than I would treat a dog!"

tting by the open window Nat thought of many things—of the death of hrents, and of the taking off of his aunt—and of how his miserly uncle h

eated him ever since.

's not fair!" he told himself, over and over again. "Uncle Abner doeslieve in giving a boy a fair show. I wish I lived with somebody else."

he more he thought over the situation the more he felt that he ought not and such treatment. He felt that he was entitled to his supper, and also

me spending money if not to regular wages. At the present time he had nont in the world.

f I had a few dollars I might strike out for myself," he reasoned. "Bu

ven't even a few cents. Wonder how I could raise a few dollars?"

s said before Nat's worldly possessions were few. In his room he had som

nkets from home and also an old silver watch which had belonged to hther.

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might sell the watch," he thought, but then decided that it would be bestep the heirloom.

hen he thought of Jennie, the white and brown cow. As a calf she had beven to Nat by his mother, and she was now a part of the herd on t

alberry farm.

ennie ought to be worth twenty or twenty-five dollars," he said to himseThat's a pile of money, for a start. Wonder how I could manage to sell her?

hus speculating, Nat gradually drifted around to the point where he decidat he would leave the farm at once. He had told his uncle that he wanted h

pper or he would not work for the man any more, and he meant to keep hord.

y the time all was quiet around the house and he was certain both t

ousekeeper and his uncle had retired, Nat had settled just what he was goido.

aking no noise, he slipped off his working clothes and put on his best suitmething just a trifle better than the others. He also donned a clean shirt allar and necktie and got out his best hat and shoes. Then, with his oth

ossessions wrapped in a small bundle, and with his shoes under his arm,

toed his way out of the bedchamber, along the hall, and down to the lowoor of the farmhouse.

at knew exactly where Mrs. Felton kept the things to eat, so it was ncessary for him to light a lamp. The use of a match revealed as much as anted to know, and in a short time he was devouring what was left of the fi

d also some bread and butter and a generous quarter of a cherry pie, whie housekeeper had insisted upon baking the day before, somewhat again

bner Balberry's will, for the farmer would rather have sold the cherries at tore.

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is meal finished, Nat hesitated for a moment, and then got out an owspaper. Into this he wrapped half a dozen slices of bread and butter, aloith a bit of cheese and two rather stale doughnuts.

They'll come in handy for breakfast, along with an apple or two," was t

ay he reasoned. "Especially if I don't happen to sell the cow."he boy's next move was to leave the house, which he did after tying hothes and the lunch into one bundle, which he slung on a stick over h

oulder. Once outside, he put on his shoes and then made his way from touse to the barnyard, and then along the lane leading to the pasture.

he late moon was showing over the hills and the heavens were bright wars, so it was by no means dark. As he entered the lane Nat looked back,e if his departure from the house had been discovered.

sight met his gaze which caused his heart to jump. A man was crossing thooryard and coming toward the barn!

must be Uncle Abner!" he thought. "Perhaps he heard me leave after all!"

e looked back again, but could not see the man now, and then broke inton. Soon a row of trees in the orchard hid both the barn and the house fro

ew. He continued to run, however, and did not slacken his pace until ached the pasture where the cows were at rest.

nnie did not relish having her rest disturbed and had to be prodded sevemes before she would arise and move in the direction he desired. Some e other cows wished to follow, but he drove them back.

only want my own," he murmured half aloud. "I don't want a thing thlongs to Uncle Abner."

at had expected to take to the highway which ran directly beside the hou

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u e was a ra a s unc e was wa c ng or m rom e arn, an so ove Jennie along a back road, leading to another highway which was btle traveled and which had along it only a handful of farmhouses.

He shan't catch me if I can help it," the boy told himself. "Now I've left Ioing to stay away."

at was still very much agitated in his mind, so no thought of sleep came

m as he trudged along, mile after mile, driving the tired cow before him. Het not a soul; and thus he progressed until three o'clock in the morning.

oy and cow had now been on the road six hours and Jennie refused to rther. Seeing this, he turned into a small patch of woods and there tied t

eature to a tree. Then, finding a sheltered nook, he threw himself down st and was soon fast asleep.

Hullo, there, what are you doing here?"

uch was the demand which aroused Nat several hours later, and he sprap to find himself confronted by a farmer boy of about his own age.

Hullo, Sam," he answered. "I—I was driving the cow to market and I got ed I thought I'd take a nap."

Going to sell the cow?" asked Sam Price.

Yes, if I can."


Over to Brookville, if anybody will buy her."

ackson the butcher was after cows only day before yesterday."

Then maybe I'll go and see him."You must have ot an earl start " went on Sam Price.

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did. But I must hurry along," continued Nat, not caring to answer too ma

uestions. "I slept too long."

You'd better hurry. Your uncle ain't the one to let you play, is he?"

You're right, Sam."What does he want you to get for the cow?"

isn't his cow. She belongs to me. I had her from the time she was a litlf, and I've a right to sell her."

Oh, yes, I remember now. Well, I hope you get a good price for her."

ll get as much as I can."

Want me to go along?"

You can go along if you wish."

All right, I haven't anything else to do for a while."

But I want to tell you one thing, Sam. Can you keep a secret?"

Can I? Try me and see."

You won't tell a soul?"

ll give you my word. But what's up?"

m not coming back."


t's a fact."

Do you mean that you are going to run away?"

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That's the plain English of it, Sam. I'm tired of living with my uncle. He does

eat me fairly."

believe that. My father thinks he is the meanest man in the State of Ohio."

Well, I don't know about that, but he is pretty mean, I can tell you that. I

ot going to stand it any longer."

Where are you going?"

don't know yet. Most likely to one of the big cities. Somehow, I thinkuld do better in a city than on a farm."

Do you? Now I think a country boy has no show in a big city. He don't knoe ways, and he is sure to get cheated out of his eyes—so my father says."

They won't cheat me," said Nat, decidedly.

ather says every big city is full of sharpers, on the watch for greenies."

Well, they shan't catch me for a greeny," answered Nat.

las for poor Nat! Little did he dream of what was in store for him, and of ttle trap into which he was to fall as soon as he arrived in New York City.



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bner Balberry uttered the name in a loud, clear voice and waited fullyinute for an answer.

Nat!" he repeated. "I want you to answer me, do you hear? Nat!"

ill there was no reply, and now, in some alarm, Abner Balberry turned bato his bedchamber and donned part of his clothing.

f that boy is moving around this house I'm goin' to know it," he murmured

mself, as he felt his way toward Nat's room. Coming to the door, he threwpen and took a step toward the bed.

s we already know, it was empty. The discovery was something of a shothe farmer and for the moment he stood stock-still, gazing at the bed a

eling under the covers to make certain that his nephew was not really there

Gone!" he muttered at last. "He must be downstairs. More'n likely he wewn to git somethin' to eat. Wait till I catch him! I'll tan him well!"

oping to catch Nat unawares, he tiptoed his way down the stairs atered the living room. Then he passed to the kitchen and the shed, and cam

ck to peer into the parlor. Not a trace of the lad was to be found anywhe

certainly heard him," he reasoned. "I certainly did."

Mr. Balberry!" The call came from the housekeeper. "Are you up?"Yes, I am."

Oh, all right."

But it ain't all right! Nat's up too."

s he down there with you?"

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o, on now a a w ere e s. m a- oo n er m.

y this time Mrs. Felton's curiosity was aroused and she lost no time pping on her wrapper. When she came down she brought with her a lamp

Where do you suppose he went?" she asked.

How do I know?" snarled Abner Balberry.

he housekeeper happened to glance into the pantry. She was about to ut

exclamation, but checked herself.

What did you say, Mrs. Felton?"

—I didn't say anything."

He ain't in there, is he?"


Has he been at the victuals?"

Not—not very much," stammered the housekeeper.

Humph! I guess he ate as much as he wanted. Jest wait till I catch him—

n him harder than he was ever tanned before!"

Maybe he went to bed again."

No, I jest looked into his room."

bner Balberry unlocked the kitchen door and stepped out into the dooryas he did this he caught sight of somebody running swiftly down the road.

Hi! Stop!" he yelled. "Stop, Nat, do you hear?"

o this there was no answer, and the fleeing individual merely ran the faster.


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To be sure it was. Oh, wait till I lay my hands on him!" And the farmer shoos fist at the figure that was fast disappearing in the gloom.

What's that light in the barn?" demanded Mrs. Felton, an instant later.

Light? Where?"

Up in the haymow."

bner Balberry gave a glance toward the structure.

The barn's afire!" he screamed. "Thet good-fer-nuthin' boy has set the pla

n fire!"

Oh! oh!" screamed the housekeeper, and began to tremble from head to fer to her mind a fire was the most dreadful thing that could happen.

ve got to git thet fire out," said the farmer, and ran toward the barn with eed.

Be careful, or you'll be burnt up!" screamed Mrs. Felton.

Go on an' git the water pails!" said the farmer. "Fill everything with water. Aing a rag carpet, an' I'll soak thet too!"

e already had an old patch of carpet used at the doorstep in his hand, a

is he soused in the watering trough as he passed. Then he ran into the oprn and mounted to the loft.

he fire was in a patch of hay at one end of the loft, close to an open windowegardless of his personal safety, Abner Balberry leaped in and threw part

e hay out of the window. Then he began to beat out the fire with the wate

aked carpet.Here's some water " came timidl from below and Mrs. Felton a ear

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 ith two pails full to the brim. He took these upstairs and dashed them on t


You look out or you'll be burnt up!" cried the housekeeper. She wembling to such a degree that she could scarcely stand.

Git some more water," was Abner Balberry's only reply. The thought that hrn might be totally destroyed filled him with dread, for there was surance on the structure—he being too miserly to pay the premiumanded by the insurance company.

ore water was procured by Mrs. Felton, and at last it was apparent that t

rmer was getting the best of the fire. He worked hard and did not seem ind the fact that his eyebrows were singed and his hands slightly blistered.

There! now I've got it!" he sighed at last.

Are you sure?" asked the housekeeper in a faint voice.

Yes, but I'm a-goin' to hunt around fer sparks. Git some more water."

dditional water was soon at hand, and Abner Balberry began a minuarch of the whole loft, on the lookout for stray sparks. A few were foun

d extinguished, and then the excitement came to an end.

How thankful I am that the barn didn't burn down," said the housekeeper,

e farmer came below and began to bathe his face and hands.t was hot work."

Are you burnt much?"

More'n I want to be. Jest wait till I catch Nat!"

Do you think——" began the housekeeper.

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course o snor e ner a erry. n see m a-runnn awom the barn?"

never thought Nat would be wicked enough to set a barn on fire."

He was mad because I wouldn't give him no supper. He's a young rascal, "

But to burn a barn!"

Thet boy has got to be taken in hand, Mrs. Felton. I've let him have his oway too much. I'm goin' to lay down the law good an' hard after this."

Maybe he won't come back," suggested the housekeeper.

his thought startled the farmer and he lost no time in finishing his washing.

m goin' after him," he announced. "If he thinks to run away I'll put a spokes wheel putty quick."

aking another look around, to make certain that the fire was really ou

bner Balberry brought out one of his horses and hitched the animal touckboard, in the meantime sending the housekeeper back to the house to g

s hat and coat.

Where do you suppose you'll find him?" asked Mrs. Felton.

omewhere along the road most likely."

Maybe he'll hide on you."

He had better not. If he does that, I'll call on the squire about him."

Can you do that?"

O' course I can. Didn't he try to burn down the barn? The squire can maut a warrant for his arrest."

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would be awful to have him arrested."

Well, he brought it on himself," answered Abner Balberry, doggedly. "He hao right to try to set the barn afire. Next thing you know, Mrs. Felton, he'll b

trying to burn us up in our beds."

Oh, I don't think Nat would be as bad as that."

You don't know thet boy as well as I do. He's sly an' stubborn, and he'll dost anything when he's crossed. But I'll fix him! Jest you wait an' see!"

How far will you follow him?"

As far as it's necessary. If he thinks he can git away from me he'll find ooner or later, he is mistaken."

You don't know when you'll be back?"

No. It may be I'll have to wait in town till the squire opens his office—that I can't find Nat."

But you are going to look for him yourself first?"


With this answer Abner Balberry drove off in the darkness. Mrs. Feltatched him and heaved a long and deep sigh.

Too bad!" she murmured. "If he catches Nat it will surely go hard with thoy. Well, I didn't think he was bad enough to set fire to a barn!"

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otally unconscious of what had taken place at the farm after his departuat, in company with his friend, Sam Price, proceeded on his way rookville.

n the journey Nat told his friend of many things that had happened to hd of his uncle's meanness.

don't wonder you want a change," said Sam. "I'd want a change myself."t last they came in sight of Brookville, and Nat drove the cow to the yard ckson the butcher.

he butcher was a fat, good-natured man of middle age. But he was a shrewusiness man and first-class at driving a bargain.

What do you want, boy?" he asked of Nat.

Do you want to buy a cow, Mr. Jackson? Sam says you were out looking fws day before yesterday."

did want cows then, but I've got nearly all I want now."

Oh, then I'll go elsewhere," answered Nat.

Hold on, not so fast. What do you want for your cow?"

Thirty dollars."

hew! you don't want much."

he's worth it. You can milk her or use her for meat, just as you choose."

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Whose cow is she?"


Yours?" And the butcher gazed at Nat curiously.

Yes. I've owned her ever since she was a little calf."

And now you are tired of her?"

Not exactly that, but I want to use the money. Will you buy her?"

Yes, but not for thirty dollars."

How much will you give?"

Twenty dollars."

don't care to sell for twenty dollars."

That's the best I can do."

Then I'll have to go elsewhere. Come, Jennie," and Nat turned to drive t

w from the butcher's yard again.

Hold on!" cried the meat man. "I'll give you twenty-two dollars."

Make it twenty-five and I'll accept. I can't take less. I ought to get thi


here was some more talk, and in the end, the butcher agreed to pay twent

ve dollars and did so. He wanted a receipt, and Nat wrote it out for him.

o you are Nat Nason," said the butcher. "I used to know your father.

ry nice man."

He was a nice man."

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Live with your uncle now, don't you?"

have been living with him, yes. Good-day, and much obliged," returned toy, and to avoid being questioned further he left the yard at once, followy Sam.

You made a good bargain on the cow," said Sam. "I reckon you got event she was worth."

he was a good cow, Sam. I'm rather sorry to part with her. She was almoke a friend."

What are you going to do next?"

trike out for the city."

wish you luck."

You won't tell my uncle?"

Not a word. But, say."


When you get to the city write and tell me how you like it."

will, Sam, and you must tell me the news from home, and how my un

ts along without me."o it was arranged; and a few minutes later the two lads separated, and Saice started for home.

rookville was on a small branch railroad running to Cleveland, and nsulting a time-table Nat learned that a train for Cleveland would leave

n minutes. He lost no time in purchasing a ticket, and spent the rest of tme in eating some of the lunch he had brought along. With over twenty-thr

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o ars sti in is poc et e fe t ric , an oug t some peanuts an a ca eweet chocolate.

When the train came along there were scarcely any passengers aboard, so d little difficulty in getting the seat he wanted. He sat down by a windowith his bundle beside him, and gave himself up to thinking and to looking

e scenery as it whirled past.

at had traveled but little on the cars, so the ride to Cleveland was intense

joyable. The different places passed were so interesting that he soon forgthink about his prospects, or of what he was to do when he arrived at ty on the lake.

Next stop is Cleveland!" cried the conductor, standing at the open doorwaAll change, for trains east and west!"

moment later the train rolled into the smoky station, and bundle in hand, Nft the car and stepped onto the platform. From there he walked to the stre

here he gazed in some bewilderment at the crowds of people and the swif

oving street cars.

aper!" cried a newsboy. "Morning paper?"

No, I don't want any paper," answered Nat.

All about the big fire in Chicago, boss. Take a paper?"

Yes, I'll take one," said Nat, and passed over the necessary change. Orted the newsboy, to be lost in the crowd on the other side of the stre

at gazed at the paper, to find that a tenement had burned out in Chicagith the loss of one life.

That's not such a terrible thing—for a big city like Chicago," he mused, a

en noticed that the newspaper was two days old.

" "

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, .here he is?"

he boy could not be found, and in a moment Nat concluded it would be

aste of time to look for him.

He caught me for a greeny, true enough," he thought. "I've got to keep mes open after this."

om one street Nat passed to another, gazing into the shop windows, anondering what he had best do next. He had at first calculated to go to Neork without delay, but now thought it would do no harm to remain eveland a day or two.

erhaps I'll never get here again," he reasoned. "And I might as well see ere is to see."

oon found him on one of the main streets. He was now hungry again, a

ming to a modest-looking restaurant, he entered and sat down at a sible.

What will you have?" asked the waiter, coming up to him.

Give me a regular dinner," said Nat, seeing the sign on the wall:

 Regular Dinner, 11 to 2. 30 cents.

he waiter walked off, and presently returned with some bread and butter.

ea or tomato soup?" he asked.

What's that?" questioned the boy.

ea or tomato soup?"

don't want any soup—I want a regular dinner."

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s e wa er sm e , or e saw a a was green.

We serve soup first—if the customer wants it."

And what do you serve after that?"

One kind of meat, vegetables, coffee or milk, and pie or pudding."

Oh! Well bring me the meat and other stuff. I never cared for soup anyway

Roast beef or lamb?"

Roast beef."

he waiter went off, and presently Nat was supplied with all he cared to ehe food was good, and he took his time, finishing off with a piece of lemeringue pie, a dainty of which he was exceedingly fond, but which Melton had seldom dared to make.

Thirty cents, but I guess it was worth it," he thought, as he left the restauran

at had never seen Lake Erie, and toward the middle of the afternoon alked down in the direction of the water. The shipping interested him greatld it was dark before he realized that the day was gone without anythi

finite being accomplished.

Gracious, how time flies when one is in the city!" he thought. "To-morrowust make up my mind what to do next. If I don't, I'll have my money sped no job, either."

s it grew darker the boy felt the necessity of looking for accommodations fe night. Seeing a sign on a house, Furnished Rooms by the Day, Week, onth, he ascended the stoop, and rang the bell. A young Irish girl answere

s summons.

Can I get a bed for to-night?" asked Nat.

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guess yez can—I'll call Mrs. O'Hara," said the girl.

he landlady soon showed herself, and said she could let Nat have a hom for fifty cents. To the boy's notion this seemed rather high.

can't take less," said Mrs. O'Hara, firmly.

Very well; I'll take the room for to-night," answered Nat. "Can I put mundle up there now?"

To be sure."

ortunately for Nat, the room proved clean and well-kept, and the bed w

tter than the one he had used at the farm. Tired out, the boy slept soundntil seven o'clock, when he lost no time in dressing and going below.

Will you want the room again to-night, Mr. Nason?" asked the landlady.

don't think so," answered Nat. It made him feel a foot taller to be addressMr. Nason. "If I want it, I'll let you know by supper time."

Very well."

With his bundle under his arm, Nat left the house, and walked down the streward one of the main thoroughfares of Cleveland. Then he stopped astaurant for breakfast.

Now, I've got to make up my mind what to do," he told himself. "Maybed better go back to the depot and see about a train and the fare to Neork."

fter making several false turns, the boy found his way to the depot, and the

unted up the ticket office, and procured a time-table. He was just looki

to the time-table when he felt a heavy hand placed on his shoulder.o I've found ou have I?" came harshl from Abner Balberr . "You oun

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 scal, what do you mean by runnin' away?"



at was so completely astonished by the unexpected appearance of his und guardian, that for the moment he did not know what to say or do.

Thought you was goin' to run away, didn't you?" continued Abner Balberr

ith a gleam of triumph in his small eyes.

Let go of me," answered Nat, trying to pull away.

ain't a-goin' to, Nat Nason. You're a-goin' back with me, an' on the ne


m not going back, Uncle Abner."


said I'm not going back, so there," repeated Nat, desperately. "You doeat me half decently, and I'm going to strike out for myself."

est to hear the boy! You are a-goin' back. Nice doin's, I must say! What dou mean by trying to burn down the barn?"

Burn down the barn?"

' "

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never burned down any barn. Is the barn burned down?"

No; because I put out the fire."

When was this?"

You know well enough."

don't know a word about it, Uncle Abner."

You set the barn afire."


You did! An' you've got to go back."

Uncle Abner, I never set fire to a thing," gasped Nat. "I left because yorked me to death, and because you wouldn't let me have my supper. Afts, I'm going to earn my own living in my own way."

You're goin' back," snarled the farmer.

or answer, Nat gave a sudden jerk and pulled himself from his uncle's grashen he started to run from the depot at his best speed.

Hi! stop!" yelled the farmer. "Stop thet boy. I'm his guardian, and he is runnway from me."

he cry was taken up on all sides, and soon a crowd of a dozen men a

oys were in pursuit of Nat, who by this time had reached the street.

at had always been fleet of foot, and now a new fear lent strength to h

ying feet. He was accused of setting fire to the barn! Perhaps his uncle wou

ve him arrested and sent to prison.He shan't do it " he muttered. "I must et awa somehow."

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 own one street after another went poor Nat, with the crowd behind howing steadily larger. Some thought they were after a thief, and some

urderer, and soon two policemen joined in the chase.

oming to an alley way, Nat darted through it to a side street, and th

ound a corner to a thoroughfare leading down to the docks. This threw towd off the trail for a moment, and gave him a brief breathing spell.

eaching the docks fronting the lake, the boy came to a halt. Not far off waeamboat, getting ready to cast off.

Where does that boat go to?" he asked of a man standing near.

That's the boat for Buffalo," was the answer.

And when does she leave?"

he is getting ready to leave now."

Then that's the boat I want," came from Nat, and he rushed to the end of tock, and up the gangplank with all speed. A moment later the gangplank w

ithdrawn, and the steamboat started on her trip down Lake Erie.

embling with excitement, Nat entered the cabin, and from the windo

oked back to the dock they had just left. It was not long before he behebner Balberry and several others, on the dock, gazing up and down

rplexity. They did not know whether the boy was on the boat, or in hidiose by.

What a narrow escape!" thought Nat, when the dock had faded from view

n another minute Uncle Abner would have collared me, sure."

Had to run pretty hard to catch the boat, didn't you?" remarked a man sittiside him.

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Yes," answered Nat.

Bound for Buffalo, I suppose."


irst visit to that city?"


Well, it's a fine city to visit, I can tell you. Of course you'll run up to look iagara Falls?"

hadn't thought of that."

's not very far away, you know. The trolley cars run from Buffalo to talls and back."

Then I'll certainly have to go up and look at the Falls," answered the boy.

e was too excited to make up his mind just what to do next, and so walk

way from the man. Finding a secluded corner of the deck, he sat down onmp stool to think the situation over.

he fact that his uncle believed he had tried to burn down the barn filled h

ith alarm. Certainly, the building must have been set on fire, but who hone the base deed?

erhaps that man I took to be Uncle Abner!" he cried to himself. Up to tesent time he had forgotten about seeing that individual in the semi-darknehile on the way to get the cow.

he weather was warm and pleasant, and had Nat been less disturbed in miwould have enjoyed the trip on Lake Erie thoroughly. Even as it was,

zed at the great lake in wonder.

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s s ony a a e, w a mus e ocean e e muse . en ge ew York, I'll have to take a trip to Coney Island, or some other oceaach."

he boat Nat was on carried more freight than passengers, and made halozen landings before Buffalo was reached. But the boy thought the craft o

the best on the lake, and wandered over her from end to end with greterest. At noon he purchased a light lunch, and at supper time a sandwid a glass of milk.

They charge pretty stiff prices on a boat," he thought, after paying over honey. "I've got to live cheaper after this, or I'll be a beggar before I set

own and find something to do."

was dark when Buffalo was reached, and here Nat was more bewilder

an he had been on arriving at Cleveland. He followed the crowd up from tock to one of the main streets, and then stood on a corner, not knowihich way to turn, or what to do next.

What a terrible lot of people and cars!" was his mental comment. "It's enoumake a fellow's head swim."

e felt that it would be useless to try to do anything that night, and so lookound for a cheap lodging house. Soon he found a place where beds cou

had for twenty-five cents a night, and he entered.

ll take a bed," he said to the clerk at the desk.

All right; twenty-five cents." And as the money was passed over, the cle

ntinued: "Leave your valuables at the desk."

Valuables?" repeated Nat. "You mean my watch?"

You may leave it if you wish, and your money too."

' "

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, .

e was conducted to an elevator, and soon found himself on the fifth story

e building. Here was a big room containing twenty cots, ten on each side.

Here you are; No. 134," said the attendant, and left him.

n several of the cots some men were already sleeping. They were neasant-appearing individuals, and a few of them smelt strongly of liquor.

This isn't so nice," thought Nat. "But it's cheap, and that's something."

efore retiring, he placed his bundle and his clothing under his pillow, aowed away his watch and money on his person.

at's actions were closely watched by a man who occupied the next cot e left. He was a seedy individual, with a face that was horribly pockmarke

Reckon he's got a dollar or two," thought this man, who was known amo

s associates by the name of Checkers.

espite his surroundings, Nat slept soundly throughout the night, antinued to sleep long after the sun came up.

While it was still early, Bob Checkers arose, dressed himself, and slipp

ver to the sleeping boy's side. Making certain that nobody was watching hie fellow began a rapid search of Nat's clothing, and afterwards of the la

rson.oon he came in contact with a small roll of bills, which Nat, in the belief they would be quite secure, had placed in a pocket of his shirt. A thrill

light shot through the fellow as his hand touched them.

Dis is de best yet!" he murmured to himself, and placing the bills in his ow

ocket, he left the lodging house almost on a run.

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When Nat awoke it was so late that he leaped up and dressed with ossible speed.

ve got to get a hustle on me, if I mean to do anything," he told himself. on't do to dream away one day after another."

e was anxious to get to New York, to try his luck, but being so close

iagara Falls, he decided to run up to that great wonder, and look at it befoiking out for the metropolis.

e had some loose change in his pocket, and did not immediately miss the rbills which the sneak thief had so cleverly abstracted from his person.

eaving the lodging house, he looked up a cheap restaurant, where btained a cup of coffee and some rolls for ten cents. Then, seeing a carked Niagara Falls, he jumped on board.

Do you go to the Falls?" he asked of the conductor.


olley riding was new to him, and he thoroughly enjoyed the trip, whisted the best part of two hours. The car landed him on the main street

iagara Falls, and he was told that the Falls themselves were just beyond tublic park. Listening, he could readily hear the thunder of the waters—

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un er a goes on ay an ng , an as or ages.

eeling dry, he treated himself to a glass of soda, and then asked permissileave his bundle in the shop where he made the purchase.

All right," said the proprietor. "Leave it there, with your name on it," and Nd as requested.

e was soon down in the public park, and then went out on Goat Island. T

eat falls were a revelation to him—just as they are to all visitors—and mained for a long time in one spot, gazing first at the American Falls, anen at the Horseshoe or Canadian Falls.

What an awful mass of water!" was his thought. "How grand! How veand!"

om Goat Island, Nat walked over to the Three Sisters. On the last of three Sisters he sat down on a great rock to look at the rushing and swirli

pids—a sight which to many is as grand as that of the Falls themselves.

No boat could ever live in that river," he thought, and he was right.

tting on a rock he got to thinking of his financial affairs, and felt in his clothir his bills, to count them over.

When he realized that the money was gone, a sudden cold sweat came out

s brow. He looked around him, and gave a groan.

must have dropped the bills somewhere," he muttered. "But where?" Nev

nce did he imagine that he had been robbed, and it may be added here, ver learned the truth.

o look for the money would have been a hopeless task, and Nat did nempt it. Having gazed around on the rocks, he sat down to review tuation.

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ust twenty-two cents left," he mused, as he counted over his change. "Th

on't do more than buy a dinner. And what am I to do after it is gone? Whfool I was not to take care of my money. I'm a regular greeny, after all!"

at was greatly depressed in spirits, and he gave a sigh that seemed to comom his very soul. Then, gazing up once more, he gave a quick cry of alarm

fashionably dressed young man had appeared before him, wearing utton-hole bouquet, and light tan gloves. The fellow had a wild look in hes, and was on the point of throwing himself headlong into the swif

owing rapids.

Don't!" screamed Nat, and with one mighty leap, he caught the fashionabessed young man by the arm, and forcibly hauled him backwards.

Let—let me go!" was the frightened return. "I—I—let me go!"

You shan't throw yourself in the rapids!" said Nat. He held the young m

ghtly. "It's death to do that! Don't you know it?"

Yes, I know it," was the unsteady answer. Then of a sudden the young mnk down in a heap on the rocks. "Great Heavens! what a narrow escape!

e was close to fainting, and Nat supported him until he appeared to grolmer. The wild look left his eyes, and they filled instead with tears.

—I was going to—to——" He did not finish. "You—you saved me!"You mustn't do anything like that," said Nat. "It's awful to even think abo"

But I haven't got anything to live for," was the jerked-out answer.

Oh, yes, you have." And Nat glanced at the well-dressed fellow, with hold watch and chain, and his large diamond stud. "You're not poor like I am

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Are you poor?"

Am I? Wouldn't you think a fellow with only twenty-two cents was poor?"

s that all you have?"

Yes. I had some bank bills, but I lost them. Twenty-two cents is all I've gout I wasn't going to commit suicide on that account."

he fashionably dressed young man gave a shiver.

Don't mention it," he whispered. "I must have been clean crazy for the minu

et us go away from the river and the falls."

m willing," answered Nat, and walked from the islands to the shore paere they seated themselves on a bench, some distance away from the wate

What is your name, if I may ask?"

Nat Nason. What's yours?"

aul Hampton. So you've only got twenty-two cents to your name? Weou are worse off than I am, after all. I've got money a-plenty."

What made you dream of doing such a thing?" asked Nat, curiously.

Would you like to hear my story? Well, it won't do any harm to tell it to youtter stranger, and it will relieve my mind. Maybe you can give me som


f I can I certainly will," answered Nat, promptly.

Well, to start with," began Paul Hampton, "I am a graduate of Ya

niversity, and a lawyer by profession. I suppose you don't think I look mu

ke a lawyer."don't know much about law ers " answered Nat cautiousl .

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practice in Niagara Falls, and also in Buffalo. I have not paid as muention to the profession in the past as I intend to pay in the future."

Maybe you don't need the money."

That is one reason. But there is another, Nat. I fell desperately in love. Tver is at an end now. You drove it out of me, when you stopped me fromping into the rapids."

aul Hampton paused long enough to light a cigar. Then he leaned back, a

ew a cloud of smoke into the air.

was a big fool. I can realize it now," he went on. "I should have passrace by long ago."

Was that the name of the girl?"

Yes. Her father is well-to-do, and gives her everything her heart desire

onsequently, she has been leading me around like a puppy dog tied to


see. That is not very pleasant."

thought I loved her, but I fancy now that I was too good for her," continue

e fashionably dressed young man. "But let me tell you the whole story.

called on Grace for over a month, and finally told her that I loved her. Sid she thought her father would never consent to our marriage. Then I askr if she was willing to elope with me.

believe that angered her, but she didn't show it. She said she would thinkver, and the next day sent a note saying she would be ready any time I fixe

h, what a fool I was to believe her!"And she wouldn't elo e?" asked Nat.

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was arranged that she should be in readiness the next morning at foclock, and that I should procure a carriage and call for her. We would dri

a minister in the next town, and be married, and then ask her fathergiveness."

And she backed out?"

The morning dawned dark and misty. I had obtained from a livery stable tght before a carriage with a span of horses. At half-past three I drove with

few yards of the house, when, according to agreement, I saw a whndkerchief waving from a window.

Very soon Grace made her appearance at the door. She was heavily cloaked veiled, and refused to speak while I hurried her into the carriage. Off went at a trot towards the next town. We drew up at the door of the leadiinister of the place, and I tried to assist my companion to alight from t

rriage, when she fell and hurt her ankle on the curb."

Well, that was too bad," said Nat, sympathetically.

asked her if she was hurt, when to my amazement she broke out into a ri

sh brogue: 'It's almost kilt I am!' said she."

Was she Irish?"

rish? No! It was not Grace at all, but her cook. She had put up a cruel jon me. And that wasn't the worst of it. Grace had told Biddy that I was in lo

ith her, and the ignorant cook believed it."

And what did you do then?"

What could I do? I told Biddy it was a trick, and I had to give her ten dolla

keep from making a complaint to the police. Wasn't it dreadful?"


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, , , . ,d of such a girl. Supposing she had married you? You would most likely biserable all your life with her."

t these words, Paul Hampton stared at Nat.

You are right," he answered, presently. "I was a big fool. After this I sha

op her entirely and stick to my law business."

erhaps some day she'll be sorry she treated you so unfairly—when she seow you are rising in your profession."

Hope she does. But I don't want any more to do with her," went on Pa

ampton, decidedly. "Let us talk about something else," he added, afteruse. "Did you tell me you were worth only twenty-two cents?"


Do your folks live around here?"

My parents are dead."

Oh! Well, I want to reward you for what you did for me."

don't ask any reward."

Nevertheless, you must accept something," answered the fashionably dressung man.


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at and his newly-found friend sat in the Niagara Falls Park until nearly o

clock, talking their affairs over. Then Paul Hampton asked the boy to ith him for dinner.

want to prove to you that I am not as crazy as I seemed," said the youan. "That was a sudden fit, that's all."

Well, take my advice and don't get any more such fits," answered our hero.

aul Hampton led the way to one of the leading hotels of the town, a

owed Nat where he could wash and brush up before dining. Then the twtered the dining hall, and the youth was treated to the finest spread he her tasted.

didn't expect this, Mr. Hampton," said he, when the repast was over.

Oh, that is not much. Do you smoke?"

No, sir."

am glad to hear it. I think I smoke too much. Now, to get to busineWhere are you going to from here?"

am going to try my luck in New York, if I can manage to get there."

see. Well, I'll buy you a railroad ticket. How does that strike you?"

You are very kind."

When do you want to start?"

am not particular."

Then supposing you make it to-morrow morning? You can spend the balan

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e ay an e ng w me. wan o o some ng more or you.

at demurred, but the young man would not listen, and in the end our hereed to remain in Niagara Falls until the next morning. A railroad ticket w

urchased, and handed to the boy, and with it Paul Hampton passed overve-dollar bill.

That is for running expenses," he said. "No, don't try to refuse it, or I shall gry with you."

s Nat's shoes were worn, the young man insisted upon purchasing anoth

ir, and then purchased the boy some collars and a necktie, and also a net.

There, now you are fixed to go to New York," said he, "and I wish you thst of luck when you get there."

Thank you very much."

f you have time, write to me and let me know how you are making out."


he night was spent in a hotel close to the railroad station, and early in torning Paul Hampton saw Nat on the train. All of the boy's possessions h

en put in a neat dress-suit case, also a present from the young man.

Here is a letter I want you to read after you are well on your way," said Paampton, on parting, and he handed the missive over. "Be careful of it, foink it contains some advice that will do you good."

Thank you; I'll take care of it, and give it a good reading," answered Nat, aa moment more the train started, and the long journey to New York Ci

as begun.ur hero sank back in his seat with a ood deal of satisfaction. His assa

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as paid through, and he had exactly four dollars and seventy-five cents in hocket.

ought to get something to do before I spend that amount," he told himseOf course, it's not as much as if I had that roll of bills I lost, but there is

e in crying over spilt milk."

he run down to Buffalo was quickly made, and then the train started on

ng journey to Albany and the great metropolis. After looking out of thindow for a while, our hero took the letter Paul Hampton had given himom his pocket and opened it. Inside was another envelope, also sealed, abit of paper on which was written:

"My Dear Friend:

"Do not be discouraged, no matter what happens, when you arrivein New York. Try your best to get some good position. If you run

short of funds inside of the next two months, open the envelopeenclosed with this. It contains something that will help you on your 

way. Do not lose the envelope.

"Ever your friend,"Paul Hampton."

That's certainly an odd letter," thought Nat, as he read it over a second timWonder what that other envelope contains?"

is curiosity was great, but he was a thoroughly conscientious lad, and aftehile he put the sealed envelope in an inside pocket, and pinned it there,

at it might not drop out.

He was a curious fellow, and this is one of his odd ways of doing things,"

asoned. "Well, the envelope will give me some hope, if nothing else."at had a ma of the route in his ossession and he s ent nearl the who

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 y in watching the towns and villages through which the train passed.

lbany came a long wait, and he walked out on the platform to stretch hgs. Then the train went on its way down the shore of the Hudson River, anout nine o'clock in the evening rolled into the Grand Central Depot,

orty-second Street, New York City.

he great station was a revelation to Nat, and when he got out on the stre

e lines of cabs, cars, and elevated trains made him stop short in utwilderment.

This is ten times worse than Cleveland or Buffalo," was his comment. "Whracket on all sides! I wonder where all these folks are going?"

Cab! coupé?" bawled a line of hackmen standing near. "Carry yoggage?" came from a boy, and he caught hold of Nat's dress-suit case.

Here, let go of that!" cried our hero, and shoved the boy to one side.

Carry it for you anywhere you want to go," went on the street urchin.

can carry it myself."

fter a struggle Nat found himself out of the crowd and on a distant stre

rner. It was late, but the many street and shop lights made the scene almobright as day.

e did not know where to go, and so continued to walk along until he camSixth Avenue. Here he came to another halt.

There is no sense in my walking myself to death to-night," he thought. "I htter wait till morning for that—when I go in search of a job."

t that moment a boy of almost his own age stepped up to him with a bund

newspapers under his arm.

" "

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, .seball and racing news."

don't want any paper," answered Nat. "But I wish you'd do me a favor."

What do you want?" demanded the other boy, promptly.

want to find a cheap but good boarding house. Do you know of any aroure?"

he New York boy looked Nat over critically. The examination, brief as as, appeared to satisfy him.

ust come to the city?"


Looking for work?"


How much do you want to pay for board?"Not any more than I have to," answered Nat with a grin. "I'm not rich."

see. Well, mother takes boarders. It might be she would take you."

or how much?"

our or five dollars a week."

Oh, I can't pay that much! Why, where I come from you can get good boar three dollars a week."

That's the country, ain't it?"



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, .re."

suppose that is true."

Come on over and talk to mother. What's your handle? Mine is Dialcott."

Nat Nason. I am glad to know you." And our hero shook hands, which mae newsboy grin all over.

With his papers under his arm, Dick Talcott hurried down a side street, anound a corner. He stopped in front of a four-story brick house.

We live on the third floor," said he. "Come on up," and he led the way up tmewhat narrow stairs. It was pitch-dark, and Nat kept close behind, so

t to run into anything.

Mother, here is a boy who wants board," announced Dick, as he threw op

door. Then the pair entered a living room, where a middle-aged woman

y a table, mending some underwear.

he woman arose and came forward, and Nat saw that she was ratheasant looking. She was a widow, her husband having died only the yeevious.

o you wish board?" she said. "I will show you what rooms I have."

He don't want to pay much, mother," put in the son. "He's just arrived in Neork from the country, and he wants work."

can let you have a small hall room, with breakfast and supper, for throllars and a half," said Mrs. Talcott. "That is the best I can do. Of cour

ou'll want to take lunch along to your work, unless you get work near heWhere do you come from?"

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s that so! The late Mr. Talcott came from Ohio."

think I had better take the room, at least for a week," said Nat. The mannthe lady pleased him. She was evidently poor, but of good breeding.

Very well. Do you want the room to-night?"


Have you had supper?"

Yes, I had a bite on the train."

Very well, I'll get the room ready for you."

And I'll go out and finish selling my papers," said Dick Talcott, and ran out e room and down the stairs, two steps at a time.



aving paid for his room for one week in advance, Nat sat down to talk rs. Talcott. He found her a very pleasant woman, whose experiences in l

d been much varied.

Dick is the only person left to me," said she. "He had both a brother andter, but they died when they were young."

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Does he sell papers every day?"

Oh, yes, and he has a morning route besides, which he carries for a stationn the Avenue."

suppose he makes quite some money, doesn't he? Excuse me for askinut you know, I've got to make my living too."

The route pays him a dollar and a quarter a week, and he makes three ur dollars besides."

Well, five dollars a week is better than nothing."

The stationer says he will give Dick a place this fall. That will pay six or sevollars a week."

wish I had a job at six or seven dollars a week."

Have you anything in view?"

Not a thing. I am going out in the morning to look for work."

You may find it very hard to get an opening."

Oh, I guess I can find something," answered Nat, confidently.

trust you are not disappointed. So many come in from the country and fi

impossible to get an opening."

wish I had a map of New York City. I could study it, and locate th


have such a map," was the answer, and the lady brought it forth. "I will pu

n the table just as it should be. This is east and this is west, and here is whe

is house is located, and here is the Grand Central Depot. Now, you can ur best to fix the rest of it in our head."

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at pored over the map for a good hour, and during that time locat

roadway, and a number of other important thoroughfares.

's certainly a tremendously big city," said he. "One could get lost without hying."

You can carry that map around this week, if you wish," said Mrs. Talcott. ay help you a great deal."

at went to bed with his head in something of a whirl from the long train rid from studying the map. It was a long while ere he could close his eyes


m up against it now," he mused. "It's sink or swim, and nothing else."

e resolved to arise early, and as soon as he heard Dick Talcott get up, hessed and went into the dining room to meet the newsboy.

Hullo, how did you sleep?" asked Dick.

airly good, considering. Are you going out on your route now?"


want to buy some papers that have advertisements of Help Wanted in them

Which are the best papers?"

ick named them. "You needn't buy them unless you wish. I'll let you loover my bunch, if you want to come with me."

Thank you, Dick."

he two procured a hasty breakfast, and set out, and soon the newsboy h

s package of morning newspapers. He showed Nat where to look for tvertisements, and our hero sat down on a stoop, while Dick ran his route.

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Well, did you find anything worth looking up?" asked the newsboy,


A dozen or more," cried Nat, gleefully. "It will be an easy matter to get wor

m thinking."

t this the New York boy grinned broadly.

Don't you fool yourself, Nat."

But here are the advertisements."

Yes, and a hundred young fellows after every one."

t this Nat's face fell.

You are sure of this?"

Go on, and find out for yourself. A good job isn't open more than an hour

is city."

Then, I'd better hurry along."

at had written down about a dozen addresses on a slip of paper, and t

wsboy showed him how he could get around from one place to the neith the least walking. Nat started off at a swift gait. Dick watched him outght with a thoughtful expression on his face.

That boy means well," he murmured. "But he has got a whole lot to learn!"

he distance to the first place on Nat's list was almost half a mile. It wasirt factory, where an assistant packer was desired, at eight dollars per weerriving there, Nat found about twenty young men and boys assemble

aiting to get into the office.

Dick was right, a place here doesn't go begging long," thought the boy fro

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e country.

was some time before Nat could get into the office. He faced a tall, shared man, who was in his shirt sleeves.

Want the job, eh?" said the man. "Had any experience as a packer?"

No, sir, but——"

Can't use you. Next!"

at stared at the man in bewilderment.

Won't you please try——"

No." The man shook his head vigorously. "Next!" And our hero wbowed toward the door by some others who wanted the position. In

oment more he found himself on the street again.

Well, of all the mean men!" he began, and stopped short. "All right, he cep his job. I'll try the next place."

he next was in a hat store, and the place was filled. Then came a clothitablishment, a hardware store, and a wholesale rubber factory. At none ese places was he wanted. By this time it was nearly noon, and he wtting just a little discouraged.

's going to be up-hill work, that's certain!" he told himself with a sigh.he next place he visited was a seed store. Here a very elderly man camrward to greet him.

o you want a place?" said he slowly. "Have you had any experience as rand boy?"

No, sir, but I am willing to learn."

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o they all say, but many boys don't seem to learn very fast. You look like

untry lad." And the elderly man peered at Nat closely through hectacles.

am a country boy. But if you'll give me a chance, I'll do my best."

We can't pay you very much at the start."

How much?"

Two dollars and a half a week."

can't live on that. I've got to pay my board."

he elderly man shrugged his shoulders.

Guess you had better look elsewhere then."

Couldn't you pay me a little more? I am willing to work hard."

Well, we might give you three dollars a week after the first month, but that

ur limit for an errand boy."

can't take it," answered Nat. "I've got to earn more," and after a litditional talking he left the seed store.

e had a lunch in a bit of newspaper, and as it was nearly one o'clock, he sown on a box on the sidewalk and ate it, washing it down with a drink ater from a cooler in a railroad ticket office. Then he went on his way onore, but at sundown had to give it up. He was so tired, and his feet were

re from the pavements, that he could scarcely walk to his boarding house.

trust you found something," said Mrs. Talcott, as he entered.

No," he answered, soberly. "I could have had one position, but it only pawo dollars and a half a week, so I didn't take it."

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am sorry."

shall go out to-morrow again. I am bound to strike something sooner ter."

eing tremendously hungry Nat ate the supper provided with a relish. The

ere two other boarders—girls who worked in a large department stored they were quite interested in him.

You might get work at our place," said one of the girls. "They advertised ty for wrappers."

Yes, but they want experienced wrappers," said the other girl.

ll try them, anyway," said Nat. "And I am much obliged to you for telling mout it," he added.

n the following morning he was up as before and got the list from the papeain. Fortune was now with him, and at noon he found a position in

holesale paper house. One of the clerks was going to visit some relativown south, and Nat was hired to fill his place, at seven dollars per week.

You've struck luck!" cried Dick Talcott, on hearing the news. "I hope the josts."

o do I," answered Nat. "But even if it doesn't, it is better than nothing."

at went to work the next day. He found his duties rather simple aondered how the firm could afford to pay him seven dollars for the little as called on to do. Everybody treated him nicely, and he considered hims

cky to have made the connection with the firm.

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uring the time that he worked in the wholesale paper establishment Nrote a long letter to Sam Price, telling his friend of his adventures sinaving home, and asking for news from the farm. A few days later an answ

me back, which ran as follows:

"I got your letter and found it very interesting. I hope you makeyour fortune in the city. It's certainly a fine place to go to, andmaybe I'll try it myself some day. Country life is awful slow, andwork is mighty hard. I have been hoeing corn to-day till my back 

aches ready to fall apart.

"Your uncle was awful mad to think you had run away, and

madder still when he found you had sold the cow. He thought youwere hiding in Cleveland, and he stayed in that city three days

 before he gave up the search. He claims that the cow belonged tohim—that he took it for board and clothing for you, and he also

sticks to it that you tried to burn down his barn. He says he isgoing to make it hot for you if he ever finds you. You can make

sure I shan't tell him where you are."

at read the letter with keen interest, not once but several times, and shos head slowly over the communication.

suppose Uncle Abner will always think I set fire to the barn," he thoug

Wish I could catch the person who really did do it. Must have been somamp who was sleeping there and using a pipe."

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t the end of the third week's work Nat had seven dollars saved, of whimount he was reasonably proud. But now came a setback for which he wot prepared.

We have sold this concern to another party," said one of the proprietors

m. "After Saturday your services will be no longer required."

Won't the new bosses need me?"

No, for they have all the help of their own that they can use. Only our he

ookkeeper will remain."

his was on Thursday, and during the balance of the week our hero look

ound in his spare hours for another position, but without success. Mondorning found him doing nothing.

As you said, it is not so easy to get a hold," said he to Dick. "Still, I don't fuite so green as when I first reached New York. I at least know somethinout the streets and the stores."

at lost no time in looking for another place. But nothing turned up MondTuesday, and Wednesday it rained so hard that he did not go out until aft

oon. Then he visited a fashionable wholesale jewelry establishment. Here as asked to wait, while one of the proprietors interviewed a young man wd come in ahead of our hero.

he young man was dressed as a perfect dude, with a light checked suit, ary light gloves. He spoke with a drawl, and Nat heard every word that id.

What is your business, sir?" asked the jeweler.

believe, sir," said the young gentleman, "that you advertised for a—aw—


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A c er , yes, sir."

Aw, all the same. Well, sir—aw—if we can agree upon terms, I should be—

w—flattered to proffer my services."

Ah, indeed!" And the jeweler raised his eyebrows slightly.

Yes, sir. You will be pleased to learn that all my connections—aw—move ie first circles."

Undoubtedly that is very gratifying. But you mentioned terms. May I ask y

hat you expect?"

Well, sir, perhaps a couple of thousand or so, a year. Then, I should wish ake certain stipulations—aw—as to the time I'm employed."

Go on."

or example, I never—aw—get up very early. I think it injures the heal

ut I think I could manage to get to the office by ten in the morning."


Then, I should want—aw—to have Saturday afternoons to myself, both

inter and summer. I always go to the theater matinées—so many—aw—etty girls there," continued the dude.

And what else?"should not want to work later than five in the afternoon. Excessive laborurious to the health."

erhaps that is true."

Then I should—aw—wish it understood that I could have five or six wee

f in the summer, so that I can visit the springs or the seashore," continued t" "

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suppose it would be, to you," answered the jeweler.

think so."

wouldn't satisfy us at all."

Really! That is too bad!"

We want a man here who can work, and who is not afraid of long hours, aho doesn't set quite such a high figure on his services. You'll never fill the bthe wide world. Good-day!"

Really!" murmured the dude, and after staring at the jeweler, he turned on hel and left in utter disgust. Several who had overheard the interview laughut-right.

What a perfect fool!" thought Nat. "I wonder if anybody will ever give h

ything to do?"

What can I do for you, young man?" asked the jeweler, turning to the boy.

am looking for work, sir."

Are your expectations as high as those of the chap who just left?"

No, sir. I am willing to work hard and I am not afraid of long hours."

Then you are not a dude?"

No, sir. Do I look like one?"

You look like a country lad."

came from the country about a month ago. I've been working for Trumb

Davison, the paper dealers. But they have sold out to another firm aon't need me an lon er."

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 see. Well, I am sorry for you, for you look bright and honest. But I nemebody with experience in the jewelry line."

Then you haven't any place that I can fill?"

No, I—but hold on. I'll tell you what I might do. Do you know anythiout horses?"

Yes, sir."

And about a garden?"

Yes, sir. I was brought up on a farm."

need a man around my country home in New Jersey. I might try you the

twelve dollars a month and your board."

gain Nat's face fell.

Thank you, but I want to get something to do in the city," said he. "I am tir

farm life."

Then I can't give you anything," and the jeweler turned away.

uring the remainder of the day Nat visited several other stores and offic

ut everywhere he received the same answer—that he was too late and tosition advertised was already filled.

erhaps I did wrong not to take that position over in New Jersey," ought, on his way to his boarding house. "But I don't want to go back rm work if I can help it."

wo additional days passed, and still Nat found nothing to do, although

amped from Forty-second Street clear down to the Battery several timhen he obtained a job which lasted three days and paid him but two dollars

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This isn't earning a living," he reasoned. "Unless I do better I'll have to lling papers or blacking boots."

ne morning he did try selling papers, under the tutorship of Dick, but tfort was not a success. By noon he had earned exactly nineteen cents ad sixteen papers still on hand.

guess you wasn't cut out for a newsboy," said Dick, frankly. "What y

ant to do is, to get a steady job in a store or office."

Yes, but the jobs are mighty scarce," answered Nat.

week passed, and the country boy could find nothing more to do that weady. One day he helped a man distribute bills, and on another occasion

rried out packages for a florist, and the two jobs brought him in justollar. By this time the soles were worn from his shoes and he had to haem mended.

Making one's way in the city isn't so easy after all," he thought one night,

sat in his little room, on the edge of the bed. He had been counting up honey and found that he had but a little over four dollars left.

ll have to give Mrs. Talcott three and a half of that," he continued, "and th

ill leave me sixty-five cents. I've got to hustle or I'll be high and dry by neeek."

at hustled all of the next week, but without results. In one store toprietor was unusually harsh to him, and he came back to Mrs. Talcot

ouse more downcast than ever.

guess they don't want me in New York after all," he mused. "If I can't gmething to do I can't stay here, for Mrs. Talcott can't afford to keep me.

ve to starve!"

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.eal he went to his little room. Then, of a sudden he thought of the letter Paampton had given him.

may as well open that," he reasoned. "Goodness knows I am short enou

funds, and pretty well discouraged too."

he letter was in his pocket, still pinned fast, and he brought it forth and gazit speculatively.

would be just like him to put a five-dollar bill in it," he thought.

With his penknife he slit the envelope open, and looked inside. It contained

p of paper and another slip, of a green color.

A bill, as sure as I'm in this room!" he ejaculated. "I don't suppose it's le

an a five, and maybe it's a ten. If he—well I declare!"

at rushed to the window to look at the bill, and then with a gasp he sa

ck on the only chair which the little bedroom contained. He could scarce

lieve the evidence of his senses.

he bank bill was one for a hundred dollars.



at continued to gaze at the bill like one in a dream. He had never seen 

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A hundred dollars!" he repeated several times. "Why, it's a small fortune!"

hen he began to wonder if Paul Hampton had not made a mistake, a

rned to the slip of paper, upon which he found written:

"I give you this hundred dollars for what you did for me at Niagara

Falls. Don't be discouraged. If you ever need a friend, write or come and see me. I sincerely hope the money will bring you goodfortune."

What a kind man," murmured Nat, and read the note again. "It was a mighcky thing for me that I went to the Falls."

When he went to bed he felt rich, and he came to the breakfast table whistlierrily.

Hullo," cried Dick, "have you struck luck at last?"

m in luck in one way," answered our hero. "Look at that," and he showe bank bill.

Why, it's a hundred dollars, Nat!" And the newsboy's eyes opened widely.


Where on earth did you get the money?"

A gentleman gave it to me."

What for?"

or saving his life. But I didn't know I had it until I went to bed last night."

You're talking in riddles."

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ll explain," and then our hero told as much of the Niagara Falls episode

deemed necessary.

Here is the note," he concluded, showing the slip of paper, which wnsigned. "I don't feel at liberty to mention the gentleman's name. I don't thiwould be just right."

A rich man like that would be a fool to commit suicide," said Dick, bluntlWhat are you going to do with all that money?"

don't know. But I shan't squander it, I can tell you that."

You can go into business for yourself on that amount."

Maybe, but I guess I had better keep on hunting for a job. I can go inusiness for myself when I know more about New York."

That's where you are sensible. You might lose your money in double-quime in your own business."

at put the bill away very carefully, and then went out to look for a positibefore. But the week passed and nothing turned up.

n Sunday the country boy attended a church in the vicinity of his boardiouse, and in the afternoon he took a walk to Central Park. In the evening ayed at home and read a paper which Dick brought in.

s was natural Nat read over the want advertisements very carefully. It wot long before he came to one which excited his curiosity. The advertisemeas as follows:

"WANTED—A clerk, to whom a liberal salary will be paid. One preferred who comes from the country and is not too old.

References expected. Must deposit $100 as security, for whichinterest will be paid. Inquire Room 24, Dallax Building,

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That ought to strike me," mused Nat, as he laid down the paper. "Just ting, and no mistake. I'll go and see about it."

ur hero had acquired sufficient knowledge of New York to find the pla

dicated in the advertisement without much trouble. It was a four-story stouilding, and he walked up two flights of stairs until he reached Room 24. Oe door was the sign:

Hamilton DartBrokerage and Commissions

ntering the office he found it plainly but neatly furnished with two desks averal chairs. In front of one of the desks sat a middle-aged man, wessed, and smoking a cigar.

s this Mr. Dart?" questioned Nat, taking off his hat.

That is my name," responded Hamilton Dart, with a keen glance at our hero

Did you advertise for a clerk. I saw an advertisement——"

Oh, yes!" interrupted the man. "Pray be seated," and he motioned to one e chairs. "You came to see about the place, did you?"

Yes, sir. You advertised that you would like somebody from the country, an

at hits me."

You came from the country to try your luck?"

Yes, sir. I got tired of the farm."

amilton Dart smiled good-naturedly, and blew a cloud of smoke toward t

iling of his office.


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. d came here with less than a hundred dollars in my pocket."

Well, I came with just a little more than that," answered Nat, innocently.

ndeed! Then you are better off than I was. But I shan't complain, for I haade money right along. But what do you think I am worth now?"

don't know, I am sure—five or ten thousand dollars maybe."

Nearly fifty thousand dollars," and Hamilton Dart looked at Nat, coolly anocently.

ifty thousand!" cried the boy. "You've certainly been lucky. I wish I cou

ake that much."

You have the same opportunities that I had. Let me see, what did you sour name was?"

didn't say. It is Nat Nason."

am glad to know you. You have a bright and honest face, and faces countood deal with me."

his was gratifying to Nat, and he could not help but think that Mr. Dart waseasant gentleman with whom to deal.

advertised for a country young man because I was that myself once, and

ke to help country young men along," continued Hamilton Dart. "You are owork at present?"

Yes, sir. I worked for a firm, but they sold out to another firm."

see. Have you any recommendations? Not that they are strictly necessaom one who looks so honest."

can refer you to the firm I worked for."

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That will be satisfactory, although I don't mind telling you that I am verticular in the selection of my clerks. So far I have rejected seventeen wplied."

should try my best to do what was right," answered Nat, modestly.

That is the way I like to hear a person talk."

Then you will take me?"

We haven't agreed on terms yet. What do you expect in the way of salary?

guess I'll leave that to you," answered Nat, after some hesitation.

What did you get at your last place?"

even dollars a week."

Humph! Your employer was not very liberal. A clerk that is worth anythinge is worth ten dollars a week at least."

he mentioning of ten dollars made Nat's heart jump.

f you'll pay me ten dollars a week, Mr. Dart, I'll do my level best to earn it

Do you write a fair hand?"

Here is my handwriting," answered the boy, and wrote his name on a pieceaper.

That is quite good—for a boy. I think you will improve by practice. Here y

ill have quite some writing to do, and bills to sort out. But the work will ndifficult, for the summer is our dull season."


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,om each of my clerks," went on Hamilton Dart, with assumed carelessne

ometimes my clerks have quite some money to handle for me."

can make that deposit," answered Nat. "Will I get a receipt for it?"

To be sure, and I will also pay you six per cent. interest on the money. Yo

n have it back whenever you leave my service. When can you make tposit?"

Right now, if you say so."

Very well; I'll make out the receipt."

amilton Dart wrote out a receipt for a hundred dollars, and signed his namith a flourish. He passed it to Nat, and the boy handed him the hundre

llar bill.

You don't believe in carrying small bills," said the man, with an assummile.

That is the only big bill I ever owned," was the answer.

amilton Dart pocketed the bill, and looked out of the window as if in de


was thinking you might go to work to-day, but perhaps it will be as well o to work to-morrow," he said, after a pause. "Come at nine o'clock sharp

will, sir."

Then that is all for the present. I am sure we will get along very well togeth

o-morrow another clerk will be here to help you along."

amilton Dart turned to his desk, and began to write. Feeling himssmissed, Nat said "good-morning," and bowed himself out. The man listen

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That was easy, Nick," he muttered. "Two so far. I wonder how many mo

ols I'll catch before the game plays out?"


ON THE BROOKLYN BRIDGEWell, I've struck luck again," said Nat, when he arrived at his boarding placd met Dick Talcott.

Got a job?" questioned the newsboy.


hope you're going to get pretty good wages?"

Ten dollars per week," answered Nat, with just a trace of pride in his voice

Ten dollars. That is luck. What at?"

m in a broker's office, and I'm to do writing and sorting out bills."

Where is the place?"

Down on Broadway."

m glad to hear of this, Nat," said the newsboy. "Wish I could stri

mething like that."

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er aps you w some ay, c .

The trouble is I can't write very well. I never had much schooling."

f you wish, I'll teach you how to write. It always came easy to me."

Will you teach me? I'll do my best to learn. We can go at it nights."

arly on the following morning, Nat presented himself at the office roadway. He had shined his shoes and brushed his clothes, and presented

ry neat appearance. He found Hamilton Dart at his desk, and smoking fore.

wish you to go to the post office for me," said the man, as soon as

tered. "Go to the general delivery window and ask for letters for Samuarrows. That is my sick brother-in-law who is visiting me from Michigan."

Yes, sir."

Of course you know where the post office is?"

Oh, yes. I've been past there several times."

You needn't be in a hurry. Wait until they sort the eleven-o'clock mail."

Yes, sir."

he distance to the post office was a considerable one. But Nat was a go

alker, and found it was only half-past nine when he got there. To while awe time he determined to walk out on the Brooklyn Bridge and take in tghts from that elevated structure.

aking his way through the crowd on Park Row, he was soon out on tidge, and walking in the direction of Brooklyn. There was a stiff bree

owing, and several times his hat was almost lifted from his head.uddenl he heard a shout and saw a stout man runnin wildl after som

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 pers which the wind was carrying along the walk on the bridge. The mcured one of the papers, but two others were fast blowing beyond hach, when Nat rushed up and secured them just as they were on the point

ing carried into the river.

Have—you—got them?" puffed the man, as Nat came towards him.

Yes, sir. Here you are," and Nat held out the papers.

Good! I was afraid they were lost to me!" And the stranger heaved a heagh of relief.

Were they valuable?" asked our hero, curiously.

Quite so. They are the legal documents in an important real estate case nofore the courts. It was very kind of you to pick them up for me."

Oh, it wasn't so much to do," answered Nat.

Nevertheless, I am much obliged," added the stout man, warmly. "I should

ve come out on the bridge with them. But I love to get the breeze. I thinkoes me good. Much obliged;" and then he passed on.

guess he's a lawyer, or a real estate dealer," thought Nat. "Well, he ought

alk. It may take some of the fat off of him."

at walked half-way to Brooklyn, and then back again. Shortly after elev

clock he presented himself at the proper window of the post office.

Has the eleven o'clock mail been sorted yet?" he asked.


Have you any letters for Samuel Barrows?"

he clerk looked through one of the boxes beside him.

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Nothing," he answered, briefly.

Nothing at all?"

he post office clerk shook his head. Seeing this Nat walked away, anarted back for the office.

e did not suspect that his employer had sent him to the post office merelyt him out of the office, yet such was the fact. Hamilton Dart had no brothe

-law named Samuel Barrows.

s a matter of fact, Hamilton Dart—that was not his real name, but let us u

for the present, nevertheless—was nothing but a swindler. He was wornly a few hundred dollars, and his brokerage and commission business wch in name only.

While Nat was on his post office errand, Hamilton Dart had two other callehe first was a bright young man, hailing from Newark, New Jersey.

am sure you will suit me," said Hamilton Dart, after questioning the youan. "I am very much pleased with your appearance."

Thank you," was the brief answer.

You may go to work to-morrow at twelve dollars per week. Will that suit?

Yes, sir."

You will, of course, put up one hundred dollars as security," added thsumed broker.

What security will you give?" demanded the bright young man from Newark

Oh, I'll give you my personal note," answered Hamilton Dart, carelessly.

Well, I'll think it over."

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Eh? I thought you wanted to accept on the spot?" demanded the swindler.

No, sir," answered the young man. He intended to make some inquiries in

amilton Dart's financial standing before investing his cash. "I'll come arouain to-morrow morning."

shall give the place to somebody else before that time," was the cosponse.

f you do, I'll be out of it," was the equally cold answer of the yourseyman, and he walked out of the office.

One fish I didn't land," muttered Hamilton Dart to himself. "Better luck neme."

ardly had the young man left than a sickly-looking middle-aged mpeared. He had been in the hospital for two months, and out of work f

wice that length of time.

You advertised for a clerk," he said, sitting down on a chair.


am a bookkeeper, and an all-round office man," added the sick man. "I ailling to work hard for low wages."

am always willing to pay good wages to the right man," answered Hamiltart, smoothly.

t this the face of the sick man brightened.

have been sick," he went on, apologetically. "But I am getting stronger evey."

Well, the work here is not very hard."

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What could you pay me?"

Twelve dollars per week."

That would suit me nicely."

Then you can come to work to-morrow. But you will have to put up oundred dollars as security. On that I will allow you six per cent. interest."

t this announcement the face of the sick man fell.

am very sorry, sir, but I haven't the money. My sickness has reduced mmost to my last dollar."

Then I can't hire you," said Hamilton Dart, harshly.

can give you some excellent references, sir."

No, I don't care for references. My clerks have to furnish cash securitymploy no others. You had better see if you can't raise the money."

don't know how I can do it."

Haven't you any friends or relatives?"

have a sister in Brooklyn. She might possibly loan the amount."

Then you had better see her. I will keep the place open for you for a coup


he sick man pleaded to be taken on, but Hamilton Dart was obdurate, and

st the visitor left the office.

Hang the luck; he must take me for a charity association," muttered t

windler. "Two lost! This business isn't paying as well as I hoped it would."

When Nat came back he was somewhat tired from his long tramp. He ask

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s emp oyer w at e s ou o next.

Go and get your lunch, and be back in an hour," was the answer.

ardly had Nat left the office than a young fellow named Harry Brpeared. He had been in to see Hamilton Dart before and carried a hundr

ollars in his vest pocket.will take the position," he said, and handed over his money, which t

windler pocketed with alacrity.

When shall I go to work?" asked Harry Bray.

After lunch. You will have another new clerk to help you, a fellow named Nason," answered Hamilton Dart.



When Nat came back from lunch he was introduced to Harry Bray, aamilton Dart brought forth several packages of old bills and letters and alcouple of cheap blank books.

want these things sorted out," said he. "Enter all names in the books, and fem away according to date."

his seemed easy work, and both of the young clerks said they understohat was wanted. Then Hamilton Dart put on his hat and left the office.

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won't be back this afternoon," he said. "Lock up at five o'clock, and yo

ray, can take the key."

Yes, sir," answered Harry Bray.

This isn't very hard," was Nat's comment, when he was left alone with h

llow clerk.

t is about as easy a job as I ever struck," answered Harry Bray.

t's queer there are no customers coming in," said Nat, an hour later. "Mart must do most of his business outside."

A good many brokers do, Nat. They have to hustle for business or they dot any."

he afternoon passed, and at the proper time Nat left the office and we


You've certainly struck a soft snap," said Dick, when the country boy h

lated his experience. "Wish I could strike a snap like that."

erhaps you will some day," answered Nat. "Come, I'll give you a lesson

riting and figures to-night," and he did. Dick was a bright scholar, sooved a pleasure more than a task to teach him.

omptly on time the following morning, Nat went to the office. At the door et Harry Bray, who had just come in from his home on Staten Island. Th

pened up the office together, one doing the sweeping and the other t


n most places like this, the office boy or the janitor does such work," sa


don't mind it in the least," answered Nat.

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Oh, neither do I."

hey began on their work where they had left off, and about an hour later thmployer put in an appearance.

Hard at it, eh?" he said, cheerily. "That's the way I like to see things mov

at, I want you to go to the post office again."

Yes, sir."

a few minutes our hero had departed, and then Hamilton Dart turned arry Bray.

Bray, here is an important document to deliver to a party living near Centark," said he. "Deliver it, and get a receipt."

will, sir," answered Harry Bray, and in a minute more he, too, was gone.

n hour later there was a knock on the door, and the sick man, who hlled the day before, came in.

s that situation still open?" he questioned, anxiously.

Why do you ask?" demanded Hamilton Dart, abruptly.

was going to say that I borrowed that money from my sister."

Oh! Have you it with you?"Yes, sir."

Then, if you wish the job, you can take it right now. Another man is comisee me about it in an hour."

ll take the job," said Oliver Ripple, quickly, and brought forth his moneamilton Dart took it, and gave his usual receipt.

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What interest do I get on this?" asked the new clerk, anxiously.

ix per cent."

Thank you. I told my sister I thought as much. She had the money in tnk, but that only paid her three per cent. Six per cent. will be twice


You may come to work to-morrow morning at nine," said Hamilton Dart.

ll go to work to-day, if you say so, Mr. Dart."

No, my other clerks can take care of the work to-day. Both of them are no

ut on errands."When Oliver Ripple was gone, Hamilton Dart smiled broadly to himself.

Three of them," he murmured. "That's not so bad, after all. I wonder if thap who was to come at half-past ten will show up?"

When Nat left the post office he found no letters for Samuel Barrows.Mr. Dart will be disappointed again," he thought. "But it is not my fault."

he afternoon passed quietly. Only one man called at the office, and when und Hamilton Dart was not in he disappeared immediately.

hat evening Nat gave Dick another lesson, for which the newsboy was veateful.

No wonder you got that job," said Dick. "You can figure like lightning, anrite fine, too."

don't have to figure much at the office."

How do you like your boss?"

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avent rea y seen enoug o m to ma e up my mn .

He must be full of business."

suppose that is so."

When Nat went to the office on the following day he again met Harry Bray

e entrance. They went upstairs together, and found two men standing in tllway, near the door of the office. As soon as they entered the place then followed them.

Neither of these young chaps is the man," said one of the newcomers, in

w voice.

Where is Mr. Hamilton Dart?" asked the other.

can't say, sir," answered Harry Bray. "He may be here shortly."

Are you a partner in this concern?"

No, sir. I am a clerk."

Are you a clerk, too?" asked the man, turning to Nat.

Yes, sir. Is there anything we can do for you?"

Don't know as there is, young man," was the short answer. "We'll wait he

r Mr. Dart."

half-hour passed and Oliver Ripple put in an appearance.

Where is Mr. Dart?" he asked, gazing around.

He is not here yet," answered Nat.

am his new clerk. He engaged me yesterday, and told me to come to wos morning."

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t this speech the two men who had come in gazed at the sick man curiously

o you were engaged yesterday?" asked one in a low tone.


Excuse me, but I'd like to know if you put up any money as security?"did—a hundred dollars."

Ah!" And each of the two men looked at his companion significantly.

Do you know Mr. Dart?" asked the sick man.

We know of him."

He does quite a business, doesn't he?"

He does—in his own way," was the suggestive answer.

t that moment came a tramping on the stairs. Then the office door w

rown open, and Hamilton Dart appeared.

There he is!" cried one of the men. "Just as I thought!"

e started for the doorway, but Hamilton Dart was too quick for him. Hcked away, leaped for the stairs, and went down flight after flight, four a

ve steps at a time. Both men gave chase, but by the time they reached t

dewalk the swindler had disappeared.

Hullo! what can this mean?" cried Nat, in quick alarm. "I must say I don't liis."

Those men are after Mr. Dart," came from Harry Bray.

You mind the office—I'll see what is up," went on Nat, and followed dowe stairs.

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He is gone, Parsons," said one of the men.

You are sure it was our man?"

Yes, confound the luck. He got away like a slippery eel."

Did Mr. Dart run away from you?" asked Nat.

That's what he did, young man."

What did he run for?"

erhaps you know as well as I do."

No, I don't."

How long have you worked for that man?"

Only a few days."

What about that other chap upstairs?"

He came to work about the time I did."

And that pale-looking man, too?"

don't know any more about him than you do."

Did you place any money in your employer's hands?"Yes, a hundred dollars. And Harry Bray, the other clerk, put up the sammount."

Humph! I reckon you've seen the last of your cash."

What!" cried Nat, aghast. "Do you mean that?"

sure do."

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But—but——" Our hero was so staggered he could not continue for toment.

This Hamilton Dart—or whatever he calls himself—is a first-class swindler.

A swindler!" Nat fell up against the doorway. "I—I—then my money one?"

More than likely."

Oh, what a fool I've been! And I thought he was such a gentleman."

He has fooled lots of folks besides you, young man," said one of the me

ndly, for he saw that Nat was hard hit.

He isn't a business man at all?"

He is a confidence man from Chicago."

y this time, feeling certain something was wrong, Harry Bray and Oliv

pple came below.

What do you mean by confidence man?" asked Nat, doubtfully.

He is a swindler; one of the kind that can tell a good story in order to g

ur money."

Who is a swindler?" demanded Harry Bray.

Our employer," cried Nat. "He has run away with our money."

Has Mr. Dart run away?" asked the sick man, nervously.


Oh! And to think I borrowed that money from my poor sister!" came with 

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, ,vercome.



How is it that you know so much about this man?" asked Nat, after he hllected his thoughts.

am a police official from Chicago," answered one of the two men who hed to catch Hamilton Dart. "We have been on this rascal's trail for som


s Hamilton Dart his real name?"

No; his real name is Nick Smithers. He is a sly rogue."

Do you think there is any chance of catching him?" asked Harry Bray. nnot afford to lose my money."

Nor I," added our hero.

must have my money back!" groaned the sick man. "What will my sisy? She got it out of the bank only yesterday!"

wish I could help you," said the Chicago police official. "We'll do what wn."

ll went back to the office, and the janitor of the building was called in.

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ure, an' Mr. Dart has had the office only about a week," said the janitoHe hasn't paid the rent yet. He said he was in the habit of payin' in the midd

the month."

Then the owner of this building is out of pocket, too," said one of the m

om the West.

n examination was made of the desk used by the swindler, but nothing lue was found. The letters and bills were of no consequence, and the bla

ooks were not worth twenty-five cents each.

Let us go to the police station," said the men, and they went off, followed

e sick man.

This is the worst yet," remarked Nat, as he dropped into the one easy chwhich the office boasted. "And I thought I was so smart. I'm a regu

eeny, if ever there was one!" And he shook his head bitterly.

m in the same boat," responded his fellow victim. "My father will be pre

ad when he hears of this. He lent me the money, and I assured him it wouperfectly safe."

used my own money, but it was almost the last dollar I had," said our herberly. At that moment his heart felt like a lump of lead in his bosom.

What do you suppose we can do about it?"

m sure I don't know."

Do you know where this Hamilton Dart, alias Nick Smithers, lived?"


To look for him in a big city like this will be like looking for a needle inystack."

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More than likely he won't stay in this city. He may be miles away already. Hdn't want to see those men from Chicago."

hey talked the matter over for an hour, at the end of which time a detectiom headquarters came to interview them. The detective took charge of t

fice, and that seemed to be the end of the affair.Give me your addresses," said the detective to Nat and his fellow clerk. e hear anything we will let you know," and so it was arranged.

at felt very much downcast when he arrived at his boarding house thening. Mrs. Talcott was not long in noticing it.

You seem to be in trouble, Nat," said she kindly, for she had taken quite

ncy to the country lad. "Can I help you in any way?"

don't know," he answered, bluntly. "I've gone and made a big fool


n what way?" asked she in astonishment.

thought I was smart, but I'm a regular country greeny. I let a man swind

e out of nearly every dollar I possessed."

That is certainly too bad, Nat. How did it happen?"

or answer our hero made a clean breast of the whole matter. While he wling his tale, Dick came in, and he was likewise told.

And you mean to say that you lost the whole hundred dollars!" ejaculated t

wsboy. "That's awful, Nat!"

wish I could get hold of that Nick Smithers. I'd—I'd wring his neck f


' '

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. .one to-morrow. Those chaps work their schemes all over the States."

at was in no humor to eat supper, and scarcely touched a mouthful. Malcott and Dick did all they could to cheer him up.

Make the best of it," said the newsboy. "You'll be sure to strike somethin

ood sooner or later."

guess I'm too much of a greeny to do that," answered Nat.

hat night when our hero went to bed he could not sleep. His ready monas running low, and how to turn he did not know. Bitterly he upbraid

mself for having trusted Nick Smithers, but this did no good. His money wone, and it was doubtful if he would ever see a cent of it again.

ought to go back on the farm where I belong," he muttered. "I'm not smough to get along in a city like New York."

ut by morning his thoughts took a turn, and at breakfast his eyes were

ight and expectant as ever.

m going out and get something to do," he said firmly. "And I'm not going anybody get the best of me again."

Do not worry," said Mrs. Talcott. "You can stay here, even if you don't gything right away. I'll trust you for the board."

You are very kind," answered Nat, gratefully. "But I can't stand it to dthing."

ll of that day he tramped up one street and down another looking foruation, but without success.

e could have had one job as an errand boy, but the wages offered were bwo dollars per week.

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can't take that," he said. "I've got to support myself even if I can't tter."

n the next day it rained, but he went out, nevertheless, with an umbrehich Mrs. Talcott loaned him.

e had several advertisements, taken from the morning papers, and lost me in applying at first one place and then another.

he third place offered on his list was in a big office building down near trner of Broadway and Park Row. When Nat arrived there he found hal

zen young fellows ahead of him.

You will all have to wait until Mr. Garwell arrives," said a clerk to the crow

expect him any moment."

Hope he don't keep us too long," grumbled one of those who were waiting.

on't want to lose the chance of another job if I can't get this."

You need not wait at all if you don't care to," said the clerk.wo others came in, and the outer office was comfortably filled, when a sto

ntleman walked in quickly, and gave a glance around.

Hum!" said he, when his eyes fell upon Nat, and he looked at our hero mo

osely. Nat at once recognized the newcomer as the gentleman he had met

e Brooklyn Bridge.

How are you, young man," said the gentleman.

Very well, sir," answered Nat.

What are you doing here?"

came to see about the position that was advertised."

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Ah, indeed!" The gentleman gave Nat another look. "Come inside."

Yes, sir," and our hero quickly followed him to an inner office. Here th

ntleman hung up his hat, and sank down in an easy chair at a desk. "Takeat. I suppose you remember meeting me?" This was said with a little smile

Oh, yes, sir; on the bridge."

You did me a good turn, and I've not forgotten it. So you want a job, eWhat's your name, and where are you from?"

at told him, and also told the gentleman some of his experiences sinriving in the metropolis. John Garwell listened with interest.

fancy I can give you an opening," said he. "Here, write a few lines on teet of paper." Nat did so. "A very good hand. How much do you want art on?"

Enough to support myself, Mr. Garwell."

That's a fair answer. Can you live on seven dollars a week?"

can live on less than that."

ome young men want a fortune to start on. Yesterday a young man callere for an opening. He had had no experience, yet he wanted not less th

wenty dollars a week."

guess you didn't engage him," said Nat, with a smile.

did not. Well, I'll give you a trial, at seven dollars a week. If you protisfactory I'll give you eight dollars at the end of three months, and t

ollars at the end of the first year."

Thank you, very much."


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. . -sk, and a clerk appeared. "Wilson, this is the new clerk, Nat Nason. Yon show him his duties. And tell those others that are waiting that the positifilled."

Yes, sir."

Wait a minute, Nason. Wilson, you can go."

he clerk disappeared, closing the door behind him.

just wished to say a word about what you did for me the other day."

Oh, that's all right."

Here is a five-dollar bill for a reward."

But I don't want any reward, Mr. Garwell. It was nice of you to give me tosition."

Didn't you just own up that you were short of funds?"

Yes, sir, but——"

That's all right. Take the money. And now let me tell you something asend."

Yes, sir."

like my clerks to look neat and clean at all times. It pays to look that waever come down to the office with a dirty collar, or with dirty shoes."

ll remember that."

don't ask you to dress in the topmost style, or be a dude. But keep yours

at and clean."will sir."

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Then that is all. If anything doesn't go right in the office don't hesitate to let mnow."



was with a light heart that Nat went to work for Mr. John Garwell. He fat his employer was a man to be trusted, and one who would do the best

uld for those under him.

was a lucky thing for me that I took that walk on the Brooklyn Bridge,"

asoned. "Perhaps I shouldn't have gotten the job otherwise."

he clerk, Wilson, proved kind and considerate, and under him our hearned rapidly.

Didn't I tell you that you'd strike luck," said Dick. "Now, all you've got to dto nurse that job carefully, and you'll be at the top of the firm some day."

Well, I am going to nurse it as carefully as I can," laughed Nat.

When our hero had time he went to the police headquarters to see if anythid been learned of Nick Smithers.

Nothing yet," said the officer in charge. "But I think he'll be run down soon


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e to run m own myse .

ve no doubt you would."

at had been working for Mr. Garwell about a week when he receivother letter from Sam Price. Sam wrote, in part, as follows:

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"Since I sent my last letter, there have been great changes at your 

uncle's farm. He has discharged the housekeeper, and some say

he is courting the Widow Guff. For all I know they'll be married

 pretty soon. More than that, I heard somebody say that he was

thinking of coming to New York to look for you."

at read this communication with close attention. He knew the Widow G

a person who took boarders in the town where he had sold his cow. S

d three children, and had the reputation of being a rather tart and self-will


shouldn't think Uncle Abner would want to marry that widow," thought N

Wonder what put it into his head? And what put it into his head to come

ew York to look for me? I'd rather he would keep his distance."

at did not know that for the past few months the Widow Guff had had

rd time of it with a number of her boarders, and could scarcely make bo

ds meet, yet such was a fact.

ne day the widow called on a friend, and from this friend learned that Abn

alberry had discharged his housekeeper, and was keeping house by himsel

's a shame for him to be all alone," thought the widow. "And with th

phew of his away, too! Some good woman ought to be keeping house f


he widow had long had her eye on Abner Balberry, whom she knew fair

ell. She knew Abner was well-to-do, and keeping a boarding house seem

a sudden a great burden to her.

Wish I could make Abner propose," she said to herself. "He just ought

ve a wife."o the widow ke t on thinkin and b and b her face bri htened. She h

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 idea, which she resolved to put into execution the very first opportunity.

red," said she to her son, a tall gawk of a boy, "I want you to go to M

bner Balberry's house, and ask him if he will stop in and see me the first tim

comes to town."

Wot do yer want, ma?" drawled Fred.

Never mind, Fred. Just ask him to call. Say I'd like a little advice from him."

ed shuffled off on his errand, and found Nat's uncle down in the henhou

arching for eggs.

Ma wants you to come and see her," said the youth.

Wants me to come an' see her?" queried Nat's uncle.


What for?"

Dunno. Said she'd like some advice."

All right; I'll come," said Abner.

hat afternoon, after milking, he arrayed himself in his best, and drove over

e widow's boarding house. He was glad to make the visit, for sin

scharging his housekeeper he had found life on the farm rather lonely.

he widow greeted him warmly, and asked him into her parlor, closing th

oors, so that nobody might interrupt them. She seemed somewh


red told me that you would like to see me," commenced Nat's uncle.

Yes, Abner, I do; but I'm afraid you'll think it strange of me—at least of wh


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Oh, that's all right, Lucy; you know you kin trust me," he replied.

uppose,"—the widow cast down her eyes,—"mind, I am only supposing

se—suppose a person should find a pot full of gold pieces in an old we

ould the law have a right to touch it, or would it belong to the finder?"

t the mention of a pot of gold, Abner Balberry became exceeding

terested. As we know, he was very miserly, and he realized that a pot

old would be worth a good deal of money.

A pot of gold, Lucy," he said. "Why, unquestionably, the law would hav

thing to do with it."

Could the one who had owned the house years before, or lived in the plac

me forward and claim it?"

No, Lucy; I think not."

Thank you, very much, Abner, for your advice. The—er—question just cam

to my—er—mind, and I wanted to satisfy myself; that's all."

Certainly, widow, certainly," answered Nat's uncle. He wanted to ask som

uestions, but did not dare.

Now you are here, you must take supper with me," went on the Widow Gu

Thank you, Lucy, you are very kind——"

know you haven't any housekeeper any more, and nobody to cook for yo

es, stay by all means."

he widow was a fairly good cook, and Nat's uncle ate with a relish all th

as offered to him, ending with a piece of berry pie which was particula

ne. He spent a social hour after the meal, and then drove home in a thought


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s it possible that the widow really found a pot of gold in the well?"

ought. "She didn't really say so, but it was mighty odd for her to ask me su

uestions. I'll have to look into this a bit." And then he got to thinking that t

idow was not such a bad-looking woman after all, and a wife with a pot

old would be a very nice thing to possess.

bout a week later Abner Balberry had occasion to go to town, to draw

tle money from the bank, with which to pay for a cow he had purchased. H

as passing the widow's home when she came out on the piazza and nodd


Good-morning," she said.

Good-morning," he returned, and stopped for a chat. During the course

e conversation he mentioned his errand, and she said she was going to t

nk too. He asked her to ride to the institution, and she accepted t

vitation. When they arrived there he told her he would wait until she w

rough. Then he went around to a side window of the bank, where he mig

ar what took place.

he widow tripped up to the window.

Can you give me change for a ten-dollar gold piece?" she asked.

With pleasure, Mrs. Guff," was the answer, and the change for the gold pie

as immediately forthcoming.

By the way," went on the widow, "the bank is in quite a flourishing conditio

it not?"

We are doing finely, yes."

And you receive deposits, do you not?"


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Do you receive as high as—as five thousand dollars?"

No," answered the cashier, in some surprise. "Three thousand dollars fro

ne depositor is our limit. Do you know of anybody who——"

's of no consequence," interrupted the widow, hurriedly. "I only asked ocuriosity. How much interest do you pay?"

our per cent. on the first thousand and three per cent. on the remainder."

Thank you, and much obliged for the change. Good-morning," and t

Widow Guff tripped out lightly and hurried up the street.

bner Balberry had overheard every word and his face was a study as

ent into the bank to draw what he wanted, thirty dollars.

est had the Widow Guff here, didn't you?" he said, lightly.

Yes, Mr. Balberry." The cashier paused. "Do you know if anybody has le

r money lately?" he continued.

Not that I know on? Why?"

Oh, she was asking what rate of interest we paid, and if we took as high

ve thousand dollars."

see. Well, I don't know nothin' about it," and Abner Balberry pocketed honey and his bank book, and walked out after the widow.

he had been in deep thought before he was more so now. Was it possib

at the widow had found five thousand dollars?

he changed a ten-dollar piece," he reasoned. "I reckon I kin see through

illstone when there's a hole through it. Tell ye what, a widder with fiousand in old ain't to be sneezed at! I wonder if an bod else knows

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 is? Hope they don't!"

hat evening the farmer sat up till late, thinking the situation over. He did n

ish for a wife so much, but he did wish to get his hands on that pot of gold

f I want her I'll have to propose before some other feller hears o' this,"

d himself.

he farmer made it his business to go to town two days later, and drove pa

e widow's house very slowly. She saw him from a window, and nodded an


his was encouraging, and on returning from his errand, he tied up in front

e place, and rang the bell.

Oh, Abner, I am delighted to see you!" said the widow, on coming to th

oor. "Come in."

Thank you, Lucy," he answered, and entered the parlor.

t was so good of you to come," she simpered. "I wanted somebody to ta"

Anything special?" he asked, curiously.

have received notice to leave this house. I guess Mr. Haskell, the own

ishes it for himself." She did not add that her rent was about due, and s

d not know how to meet the payment.

Where do you think of going, widow?"

m sure I don't know, Abner. I haven't a single place. You know I'm a

one in the world."

he looked at him fondly, and he at once fell into the trap.

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e er come an ve w me, ucy.

Oh, Abner! What do you mean?"

mean that I think a heap o' you, Lucy, an' I'd like you fer my wife. I kno

how we could git along fine together," answered Nat's uncle, earnestly. Ju

en that pot of gold seemed almost within his reach.

he widow blushed, and pretended to be greatly surprised.

—I never dreamed of this, Abner!" she whispered. "It's—it's so sudden."

But you ain't goin' to say no, are you?"

Well, I—I——" She blushed again. "I must say I like you a great debner."

Then say yes."

Well, I will," declared the widow, and then she allowed him to kiss he

bner felt very happy, and asked her to set the day at once.

Bein' as you're to git out o' this house, you might as well give up the boarde

' come to my house at once," he said.

he widow consented, and said she would marry him in ten days. He dro

ome almost in a dream, and at once had the house put in order, and actua

ought himself a new suit of clothes and a new hat.

t's a good bit o' money to spend," he reasoned. "But I've got to do t

oper thing, or she won't feel like lettin' go o' that gold."

When the time came, they were married in the local church, and then he dro

r home. Her furniture had already arrived. She at once took possession

e place, and began to set things to rights.

won't ask her about that ot o' old est et " mused Abner. "I'll have

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ait a few days at least."



everal days passed, and Nat's uncle did all in his power to please his neife. He found her very tart at times, and inclined to have her own way, b

e was a good cook and general housekeeper, and that counted for a gre


t won't do to cross her," he told himself. "I've got to find out about thet go

st."t last he could stand the suspense no longer and so, one day, while at t

nner table, he told the story of a rich find of money by a lady in Philadelphi

was in the weekly paper," said he, "and by the way," he went on, "wh

out the pot of gold you found?"

The pot of gold I found?" she repeated, blankly.

Yes, the one you found in the well. What did you do with it?"

Why, I never found any pot of gold in a well, Abner! What put that in yo


e shoved back his chair in horror, and gazed at her blankly.

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nt you te me you a oun a pot o go n a we , ucy



Certainly, you did. You asked me if you could keep it or if the law could tak

from you. I told you the law couldn't touch it."Oh, I remember now!" she answered, sweetly. "I read about such a find in

ory magazine, and I was wondering if the finder could keep it, or if it wou

ve to be turned over to the person who owned the property on which t

ell was located. But I certainly never said anything about my finding a pot


Well, I'll be jiggered! Didn't you go to the bank an' ask 'em if they would ta

ve thousand dollars?"

Oh, I was only curious to know how much they would take, that was a

bner." And she smiled again.

bner could not endure that smile, and pushing back his chair still further, ose and left the house. Once in the barn he shook his fist viciously at

maginary enemy.

Of all the fools!" he muttered. "I've been tuk in clean an' clear! She ain't g

o pot o' gold, an' never did have! If this ain't jest the worst yet. Abn

alberry, you ought to be kicked full o' holes, and ducked in the posides!"

e felt in no mental condition to go back to the house, and so did not retu

ntil it was time for supper. He found a good meal awaiting him, and his w

n hand as pert as ever.

What made you run off?" she demanded. "It wasn't a nice way to do."

' "

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, , .

never did, and I want you to stop talking about it, Abner Balberry."

his was said so sharply it fairly made him jump.


Did you marry me simply for my money?" she demanded, coming up to h

ith her hands on her hips.

N—no!" he stammered.

Well, then, stop talking about a pot o' gold. I haven't any, and neither hav


Ain't you got no money o' your own, Lucy?"

f I have I'm going to keep it to myself," she answered. "Come to supper."

e sat down and ate in silence. The next day he wanted to speak abo

oney again, but she cut him short.don't want to hear about it," she said, tartly. "I'm your wife, and I am goi

do my share, keeping house and helping around. And you have got to

our share, and treat me fairly. I once heard that the first Mrs. Balberry did

t all that was coming to her—that she had to wear the same dress a

onnet for years. Now, I want to say, right now, that isn't my style. When

ant a new dress I want it, and you are going to give it to me."

Am I?" he said, slowly.

Yes, you are, Abner Balberry, and if I want spending money you have got

ve me that, too. If you don't, I'll quit work and won't do a blessed thi

ound the house. So there!"he s oke with such vi or that it made him roan. He felt it in his bones th

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e meant to have her way.

am a-goin' to do my duty," he said, humbly.

You'd better. If you don't——" and she ended with a shake of her head th

eant a great deal.

he's bound to have her way," he told himself later. "I've got to git used to

suppose. Drat the luck, anyway. I wish I had never heard o' thet pot


a roundabout fashion Abner Balberry had heard that Nat had gone

uffalo, and then he learned through a man who had been to New York th

s nephew was in the metropolis. Abner had often longed to visit New Yord here he saw his opportunity to do so.

m a-goin' to New York," he announced one day, shortly after the pot

ld incident.

What are you going to do there?" asked his wife.

m a-goin' to look fer Nat. I've heard he's down there, an' I want to save h

om goin' to destruction."

Better leave him where he is," said the new wife, who did not fancy anoth

her husband's people around the farm.

No, I'm a-goin' to hunt him up. I feel it's my duty to do it."

Then, if you go to New York, you have got to take me along, Abner."

Take you along, Lucy?"

Yes. I've always wanted to go to New York. Fred can take care of the far

hile we are gone." Fred and the other Guff children had been installed on tace, but none of them had proved of much assistance. Fred, himself, w

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cidedly lazy—not half as willing as Nat, so Abner himself admitted.

don't see how I can take you, Lucy. It costs a heap to go to New York."

Well, if you can spend the money on yourself, you can spend it on me, to

e answered, calmly.

But it's my duty to go—to save Nat from goin' to the dogs."

You didn't bother about Nat when you were courting me."

didn't know where he was, exactly."

ooh! Well, if you go you must take me. If you don't, you won't find me

e things when you get back."

his rather alarmed the miserly farmer, and he was half afraid she might sell

his belongings, and clear out.

All right, you shall go," he said, at last. "But it's goin' to cost a terrible sight

oney," he added, with a long sigh.was decided that they should start for New York on the following Mond

orning. Mrs. Balberry had relatives at Rochester, and they ma

rangements to stop over at that point for one night, for neither the farmer

s spouse wished to take a berth in a sleeping car.

's money thrown away," said Abner, "an', besides, who kin sleep with a cnnin' fifty miles an hour? If there was an accident a feller would be kill

fore he woke up!"

rs. Balberry's son, Fred, grumbled greatly at having to run the farm duri

eir absence, and the mother had to promise the lad fifty cents a day for t

tra work.

t's an outrage," declared Abner, when he heard of this. "He ain't worth h

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He is my son, and you have no right to abuse him!" declared the new wi

d then the farmer found it best to say no more. He was discovering that h

ife had a sharp tongue, and could use it on the slightest provocation.

ot to go to the expense of buying meals on the train, they providemselves with a basket full of food, and set off bright and early at the tim

pointed. The run to Rochester was without incident, and Mrs. Balberr

latives there treated them kindly. Then, on Tuesday, they took another tra

r New York, and late in the afternoon found themselves at the Gran

entral Depot.

t's a fearfully crowded place," was Abner Balberry's comment, as he gaz


Which way are we to go, Abner?" asked his wife, and now she clung to him

r the bustle and noise frightened her.

Let's git out on the street, where I kin have a look around," he answered, aulled her along through the crowd. A boy wanted to take his carpet bag, b

shook the urchin off.

ortunately, while at Rochester, the farmer had heard of a hotel which I sh

ll the Callac House, located but a few blocks from the station. A policem

rected the pair to this place, and here Abner Balberry succeeded in getting

om for a dollar and a half a night.

teep, ain't it?" he remarked, when he and his wife had been taken to t

om, on the seventh floor.

teep? I should say it was, Abner—the seventh story! It's dreadful! I know

an't sleep—thinking of what to do in case of a fire!"meant the rice. I don't care how hi h u it is."

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Will they give us meals for that, too?"

No, the meals is extry."

t's 'most a waste of money, I must say."

Well, I had to pay it, an' so there ain't no use to talk about it. Let's go to be' git our money's worth, an' in the mornin' I'll look fer Nat."



n the day that Abner Balberry started for New York to look for Nat, oro was called into Mr. Garwell's private office.

Nat, how would you like to take a run down to Trenton with me?" asked t

ntleman, pleasantly.

d like it first-rate, Mr. Garwell," was the prompt answer.

Very well, we'll go in half an hour. I wish to look up certain recor

ncerning some property."

When will we be back, Mr. Garwell?"

Oh, some time this evening," answered the gentleman.

may be mentioned here that John Garwell was a real estate broker. H

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ndled only high-class properties, and chiefly those used for busine

urposes. He had started years before in a modest way, but was now fai

ell-to-do, and his business was steadily increasing. He had taken a gre

ncy to Nat, and was wondering if he could not use the lad as a priv


d do it in a minute if the boy knew shorthand and typewriting," he tomself. "Perhaps I can get him to learn those branches."

t the appointed time our hero was ready for the trip to Trenton. H

mployer had stuffed a valise full of legal papers, and Nat took possession

e bag.

Be careful of that valise," cautioned Mr. Garwell. "The contents are ve


ll look out for it," was the answer.

hey walked to the ferry, and there took a boat to Jersey City, and th

oarded a train bound for the capital city of New Jersey. Mr. Garwell hbtained seats in a parlor car, and the elegant furnishings impressed N


These cars are like palaces," he said.

They are certainly comfortable," was his employer's response.

n the trip to Trenton Mr. Garwell asked Nat much about himself, and at la

e boy told his tale from beginning to end.

don't suppose you care to go back to the farm," said Mr. Garwell, with

uiet smile.

No, sir, I want to stay in New York. I believe there is more of a future her me than on the farm."

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ossibly that is true. You had positively nothing to do with that fire at yo

ncle's barn?"

No, sir—I didn't even have a light around the place."

But you saw somebody near by."

Yes, sir. I thought it was my uncle."

must have been a tramp."

ust what I think, Mr. Garwell."

And you think your uncle is coming to New York to look for you?"

He'll come, if the carfare doesn't scare him off. He is a very close man."

Hum!" The real estate broker mused for a moment. "Well, if he com

pposing you let me know? Maybe I can persuade him to allow you

main in the city."

t this Nat's face brightened.

Oh, Mr. Garwell, will you do that? I suppose, as my guardian, he has a leg

ght to order me back to the farm."

We'll have to see about that. But he hasn't found you yet."

That is true."

You ought to let him know that you are well, and have a position. You nee

ot give him your address."

ll write the letter to-morrow."

Was your father a farmer?"

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, ,rooklyn. His father and his grandfather were both born in New York."

see. Then you have city blood in your veins. That may account for yo

king New York so much."

a short time after the conversation came to an end, Trenton was reache

d calling a cab, Mr. Garwell had himself and Nat driven to one of the pub


ere both spent some time in looking over legal records, and one of t

cords Nat had to copy off in pencil for his employer. After this, came a vi

a lawyer's office, and Nat was sent on a short errand.

When the business in Trenton was over, both found they had two hours

ait before they could get a train for home.

Let us go and get a lunch," said Mr. Garwell, and led the way to a fi

staurant in that vicinity.

he real estate broker was on the point of entering the eating place whenild of five ran up to him, exclaiming:

apa, I want you to buy me some candy, please."

ow, as it happened, Mr. Garwell was a bachelor, so he was taken much b

rprise, and so was our hero.

Did you speak to me, my dear?" he asked, kindly.

Why, yes, papa," answered the little one, readily.

But I am not your father, child," and the real estate broker began to flush up

Oh, yes, you are!" came from the child.No. What is our name?"

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t this the child laughed heartily.

What a funny papa you are, to ask me my name. But won't you buy me t

ndy? Please, do," went on the little one, pleadingly.

What a funny mistake," said Mr. Garwell to Nat.Don't you know the little girl?"

Not in the least."

Get the candy!" cried the child, petulantly.

All right, I'll get you some candy, only don't call me papa," answered the retate broker. And he slipped into a candy shop, and purchased som

ocolates. He had just passed the confectionery over, when a middle-ag

dy hurried up.

Oh, mamma, see the candy papa bought me!" cried the little girl, gleefully.

You shouldn't have bought her so much candy, Horace," said the lady to Marwell, severely. "Chocolates make Lulu sick."

eing thus addressed, John Garwell turned redder than ever.

Excuse me, madam," he stammered. "I—er—this is a mistake. My name

ot Horace."

Not Horace. The idea!"

My name is John—John Garwell, and I am from New York."

t this answer the lady looked perplexed, and then indignant.

Horace, quit your fooling!" she said, coldly.


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, .

Oh, such a man! Perhaps you'll say next that I am not your wife!" continu

e lady, with a black look.

You certainly are not my wife, for I am a bachelor, madam," and now M

arwell began to grow more embarrassed than ever, while Nat w

mpletely mystified.

Not my husband? Oh, you wretch, to say such a thing!" The lady turned

e child. "Lulu, who is this?"

Why, that's papa," answered the little girl, promptly.

Now, Horace, do you hear that?"

—I heard what she said," answered the real estate broker, feebly. "But—b


f you are not her father, why did you buy her candy?"

ust to keep her from calling me papa."

ndeed! Did you want to bribe her? Oh, Horace, this is infamous! I—I

ve you lost your mind?"

No, but I think you and this child have."

t this the lady stared, and gave a gasp. She fainted, and would have fallene pavement had not Nat caught and supported her. Instantly a crowd beg


What's the trouble here?" asked one.

The gentleman's wife has fainted," answered another.

Excuse me, but she is not my wife," said John Garwell. "I don't know her."

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Certainly, she is your wife," cried a bystander. "I've seen you together lots

mes, Mr. Mann."

Wait," put in Nat. "Did you call this gentleman Mr. Mann?"

Yes, and that's his name."

You are mistaken. This gentleman is Mr. John Garwell."

Go on with you, I know Mr. Mann too well to believe such a yarn."

don't care what you say, this gentleman is Mr. John Garwell, and he is fro

ew York City."

Then he has been playing a part here in Trenton, where he is known

orace Q. Mann," said the bystander.

y this time the lady was coming to her senses. She clutched at the real esta


Take me home!" she murmured. "Oh, this is too much!"

Better take her home," said several.

don't even know where she lives," answered John Garwell, blankly.

he lives at 19 Hallock Street," said a boy in the crowd. "I'll show you t

ace, mister."Why not take her and the little girl home?" suggested Nat. "Perhaps you c

ear up this mystery there?"

All right, I will," answered his employer. "Nat, call a coach. I'm going to s

is affair through. It's the oddest thing I ever had happen to me."

he coach was called, and the lady and the girl got in, and John Garwell a


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, ,ouse was restored to her senses. Then began a series of explanations.

was dreadful of me to make such a mistake," said Mrs. Mann, hysterical


don't wonder at it—now," answered John Garwell. "Your husband cou

ss for my twin brother."

can hardly tell one from the other, myself," said Nat.

Never mind; he bought me some candy," put in little Lulu, and this made


am going to ask you to do something," said John Garwell, to Horace Manthink you owe it to me to walk down town, so that your fellow citizens c

e that there are really two of us."

Yes, Horace," pleaded his wife. "I made a lot of trouble for Mr. Garwell."

orace Mann agreed readily, and soon he and the real estate broker and N

ft the residence. On the main streets of Trenton many stopped to stare afem. Among the number was the man who had spoken to Mr. Garwell, an

sisted that the real estate broker was Mr. Mann.

apologize," said the man, promptly. "But I reckon you'll admit t

semblance is simply wonderful."

do admit it," was the answer. "Still, that doesn't make me anybody b


orace Mann insisted upon taking John Garwell and Nat to dinner, an

eated them to the best the restaurant afforded.

After this I'm going to wear a badge, so my wife will know me," said tenton man. "And I'll never dare to come to New York, for fear of bein

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en or you.



Nat, if you wish to do me a favor, do not mention this affair to anybody

ew York," said John Garwell, when the pair were on the train, bound for th


won't say a word, sir."

There was nothing wrong about it, but I don't want my friends to make

ughing stock of me," added the bachelor.shall never mention it to anybody," returned our hero, and it may be add

re that he never did. The matter was also hushed up in Trenton, so nothi

ore was heard of it.

ur hero was kept very busy for a day or two after his trip into New Jerse

art of his time was spent over some books, and the balance was used upnning errands, and delivering important papers and documents.

nce again he visited police headquarters, to learn if anything had been hea

Nick Smithers.

We have learned that he visited Jersey City not long ago," said an offici

But before we could get the authorities to lay their hands on him, sappeared. We rather think he is in New York again, and if so, we shall d

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we can to round him up."

n the following day Nat was sent on an errand up to Forty-second Stre

e had to deliver some real estate documents, and this done, he stopped fo

oment to look at the Grand Central Depot.

Thank fortune, I am not quite so green as I was when I landed," he mused.

e was just leaving the vicinity of the station, when, chancing to look down

de street, he saw a sight that filled him with astonishment.

Uncle Abner, and the Widow Guff!" he murmured. "What are they doin

king to that seedy-looking fellow?"

ur hero was right. There, near the entrance to a big building, stood Abn

alberry and his bride, and a sharp-eyed but shabbily dressed stranger w

king to them very earnestly.

Uncle Abner must have married the widow," thought Nat. "More than like

ey are on their wedding tour. Wonder what that other fellow wants


at's first inclination was to leave the spot, so that his relative might n

scover him. But he did not like the looks of the stranger, and so drew clos

learn, if possible, what the interview meant.

he man had just come past Abner and his wife, and had pretended to pip a pocketbook.

ay, did you drop your pocketbook?" he asked, of Abner.

—I guess not!" stammered the farmer, and felt to make certain that his ow

allet was safe.

Queer, who did drop this," went on the stranger. "Pretty well filled, too,"


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, .

Did you jest pick it up?" queried Abner, falling into the trap.

ure, right down there. Say, this is a find, ain't it?" and the man smil


That's what it is," said the farmer.

wish I could find a pocketbook," sighed Mrs. Balberry.

d like to return this to the owner," went on the stranger. "I don't want

ep anybody's money."

Tain't everybody would say thet," was Abner's comment. He wished he hade the find.

suppose not, but I believe in being honest." The stranger scratched his hea

Hang me, if I know what to do," he continued.

What do you mean?"

ve got to go out of town soon—train leaves in ten minutes. I don't want

ke this with me. It don't seem just right."


Can't you find the owner—I'm sure he would pay us a reward."

Me find the owner?" stammered the farmer.

Yes. You might advertise. The pocketbook has got at least a hundred dolla

it. The owner ought to give you twenty-five for returning it."

Maybe he would."

ll tell you what I'll do," said the stranger, earnestly. "You take thocketbook and ive me ten dollars. If ou can find the owner ou can cla

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 wenty-five dollars reward."

An' supposin' I can't find the owner?"

Then you can keep the pocketbook."

he temptation was strong, and Abner looked at his newly-made wife.Might as well take it, Abner," she said, promptly. "I guess we can find th

wner quick enough," and she pinched his arm suggestively.

he farmer drew forth his wallet, and began to count out ten dollars. At t

me time the stranger gazed again into the other wallet.

Must be about a hundred and fifty dollars in this," he said. "I'll trust you to

e square thing by the owner."

Oh, you kin trust me," said Abner, quickly.

e was about to pass over his ten dollars, when he felt somebody catch h

y the arm, and turning, he beheld Nat.Nat!" he gasped.

Not so fast, Uncle Abner!" cried our hero. "You had better keep yo



ut your money away."

ee here, what do you mean by interfering?" said the stranger, roughly.

f he gives up the pocketbook take the ten dollars out of that," went on N

My idea is, there isn't a dollar in the pocketbook."


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n you a no r g t to set re to t e arn.

never did that, Uncle Abner. I wouldn't be so mean."

And you sold thet cow."

he was my cow."

No, she wasn't!"

say she was, and I can prove it!"

Well, we won't quarrel about the cow. What I want to know is, are yo

havin' yourself here in the city?"

am. I work every day, and I board with some very nice people."

Ain't squanderin' your earnin's on theaters an' sech?"

No, I have never seen the inside of a theater."

Maybe you ain't seen the inside of a church either," came from M


Yes, I go to church every Sunday."

Then you don't want to go back to the farm?" came from Abner Balberry.

No, I am never going back there."

Don't you know that I am your guardeen?"

That may be so, Uncle Abner, but I am not going back to the farm."

You'll go if I say so!"

No, I won't!" and Nat's eyes flashed fire. "I'm going to support myself, and ask is to be let alone."

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Oh, leave him stay, Abner," broke in Mrs. Balberry. "You don't want him

ow you have Fred."

he farmer was on the point of saying that Nat as a worker was worth tw

eds, but he thought it best to keep silent on that point.

d like to make certain you are stopping with decent folks," said he, afother pause.

And you won't bother me if I can prove that?" cried our hero, eagerly.

guess so, Nat. But you mustn't come down on me fer board an' cloth

ter on."


he matter was talked over for a few minutes longer, and in the end Nat l

e way to his boarding house and introduced his uncle and Mrs. Balberry

rs. Talcott. The surroundings rather pleased Abner Balberry, and he end

y arranging to stay with Mrs. Talcott for several days.t's better'n them hotels," said the farmer. "It's more like hum, ain't it, Lucy?

Yes, but it ain't quite so high-toned," said the bride, who was inclined to cut

sh whenever the opportunity afforded.



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bner Balberry and his bride remained in New York four days longer, an

uring that time Nat did all in his power to make their visit a pleasant one. H

ceived Mr. Garwell's permission to remain away from work one day, an

ok his uncle and aunt to Central Park, and to the Brooklyn Bridge, and t

atue of Liberty. They were greatly pleased, and were frank enough to t

at so.

guess you are more cut out for the city than for the farm," said Abner to h

phew. "I hope you do well. You must write to us often, an' some day yo

ust pay us a visit."

certainly will do that, Uncle Abner," said Nat, and then, to please the bridpurchased for her a souvenir book, containing many illustrations of t

etropolis. This book Mrs. Balberry prized highly, and from that moment s

gan to like Nat.

He ain't half so bad as I was led to expect," she said, on the way home. "H

ems to know what he is doing."

He certainly is gettin' along," responded Abner. "Shouldn't wonder but wh

'll be a regular business man some day."

Do you think it would pay to send Fred down to the city?"

No, he better stay on the farm. Fred ain't got the way about him thet Na


He's just as smart," said the youth's mother, quickly.

Maybe, but he ain't got the knack o' it."

He would do just as well if he had the chance," continued Mrs. Balberry. A

as perhaps natural she thought her own son as good as any boy.

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n e ay a er a s unc e e ew or o n arwe ca e e oy ns private office.

Did you arrange matters with Mr. Balberry?" he asked, pleasantly.

Yes, sir. He is going to leave me alone after this," and our hero smiled.

am glad to hear it, Nat. Then there is nothing in the way of your continuire."

No, sir."

n that case I want to ask you a question. How would you like to take

enography and typewriting?"

d like it first-rate, if I thought I could do anything with them after I h

arned them."

would like to have a private secretary who understood stenography, and t

e of the typewriter."

Oh, Mr. Garwell, do you think I would do?"

erhaps. You are bright, and I feel that I can trust you."

f you want me to, I'll go at stenography and typewriting at once."

You'll have to have some time for it."

can go at night. There are several evening schools I know of."

Very well, then, you may start in at once, and I will pay your tuition fees."

can pay those out of my savings."

No, bring the bills to me, Nat. And after this week your duties will be who

my private clerk," added John Garwell.

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his made quite a change for our hero. But it was an agreeable one, and

ent at his new duties with vigor. A good school was selected, which N

ended five nights in the week.

This kind of knocks me out," said Dick, when our hero told him of t


No, it don't," said Nat, quickly. "I've made arrangements for you, Dick."

Me? How?"

You are to come three nights a week, for lessons in arithmetic an


Do they give the lessons free?"

No, I am going to settle that."

How much will you pay?"

Three dollars a month."

ought to pay that."

No, I am going to do it," said Nat, firmly, and he kept his word.

s John Garwell's private clerk, Nat received ten dollars per week, and as

d no school bills to pay for himself he found it easy to pay for Dick. T

wsboy was making rapid progress, and this not only pleased his mother, b

so the man who had promised to give Dick a position in his stationery stor

m going to have a job in the store next month," said the newsboy one da

Mr. Andrews' clerk is going to leave, and I am to take his place."

And how much will Mr. Andrews give you?" asked Mrs. Talcott.ix dollars a week to start on and he sa s he will ive me ei ht dollars

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 on as I can help on the books."

am glad to hear it, Dick."

guess I've got Nat to thank for the job," said the newsboy. "I had to

me writing for Mr. Andrews, and he said the writing was all right."

Yes, you can certainly thank Nat," said Mrs. Talcott.

he days passed swiftly for Nat. He made good progress at the eveni

hool, and Mr. Garwell was correspondingly pleased. Every day the r

tate broker trusted Nat more and more, until the lad occupied a tru

sponsible position.

ne day Nat was sent to Brooklyn, to have a certain document signed by

dy of wealth.

You must get Mrs. Parloe's signature to this, Nat," said his employer, "an

t somebody to witness the signature, and sign here," he added.

Yes, sir."

The paper is valuable, and I don't want you to let it go out of your sigh

ent on John Garwell.

ll take care to keep my eye on it," answered Nat.

e was soon on his way, and after crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, tookeet car to the address given him. It was a fine brownstone house, w

egant lace curtains at the windows.

Does Mrs. Parloe live here?" he asked of the girl who came to the door.

Yes, sir."

would like to see her on business," and Nat handed out a card on whi

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as pr n e :

John Wilbur Garwell,

Real Estate Broker.

 Represented by


he girl told Nat to take a seat, and went off with the card. He waited for fu

ve minutes, during which he heard a low murmur of voices in a back roo

hen a tall, dark-eyed man came forward.

What do you wish of Mrs. Parloe?" he questioned, abruptly.

Excuse me, but my business is with the lady," answered Nat, politely. He h

en told to transact business with Mrs. Parloe and with nobody else.

Oh! I suppose you came about that property," went on the dark-eyed ma

rlily. "If you did, let me tell you, it won't do any good."

o this our hero made no reply.

Mrs. Parloe will see you upstairs," said the girl, returning, and showed N

e way up. The dark-eyed man started to follow, but the girl called him bac

Mrs. Parloe wished you to remain below, Mr. Cameron," she said.

t this the man uttered something under his breath which Nat could not catcvidently, he was very angry, and he went into a side room, slamming th

oor after him.

at found Mrs. Parloe sitting in an easy chair by a front window. She w

mething of an invalid and rather old.

am glad to see you, Mr. Nason," said she. "Take a seat."

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an you," returne Nat. "Here is a note for you from Mr. Garwe ," an

ssed it over.

he old lady read the communication carefully, nodding to herself as she d

. Then she turned again to our hero.

Have you the document with you?"Yes, ma'am," and Nat brought it forth. "You will have to have somebody as

itness. Can I call somebody for you?"

he old lady mused for a moment.

don't believe Rufus will do it," she said, half aloud.

Do you mean the gentleman I met downstairs?"

Yes, my nephew, Rufus Cameron. He does not wish me to transact busine

ith Mr. Garwell. You may call John, my hired man. He is quite intelligent."

Where will I find him?"

You will—but never mind, Mary can call him."

rs. Parloe touched a bell, and soon Mary appeared, and went off to find t

red man. In the meantime, Nat fixed a reading stand so it could be used a

riting table, and brought out a stylographic pen his employer had given him

oon the hired man appeared. He was fairly well educated, and showed its face and manner.

am going to sign this document, John," said the old lady. "I wish you

itness my signature."

Yes, ma'am."

ot without something of an effort, Mrs. Parloe affixed her signature to t

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per. Then Nat handed the document to John, and told him where to pla

s own name in full, and also his address. In a minute the matter w

ncluded, and Mrs. Parloe told the hired man to go, and he did so.

trust Mr. Garwell has no further difficulty in this matter," said the old lady,

at stowed the document away in his pocket.

He told me to say that he is going to put it through just as soon as he can

swered Nat. "I don't know anything more about it than that."

Are you one of his clerks?"

Yes, ma'am—his private clerk."

You are rather young for such a position."

suppose I am, but Mr. Garwell seems to like me, and I am doing what I c

please him."

Mr. Garwell is a good man," said the old lady, and there the interview cam

an end, and Nat left the room. He was just going to leave the house whe dark-eyed man stepped into the lower hallway, and caught him by t




What do you want?" demanded our hero. He did not like the idea of bei

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Are you going to take the paper away from me!" cried Nat, in alarm.

only want to look at it. As soon as I've read it, I'll give it back to you."

can't allow the paper to go out of my possession, Mr. Cameron."

Mrs. Parloe isn't entirely responsible for what she does. I must see to it th

erything is all right."

Well, you had better call on Mr. Garwell."

No, I must see the document while you have it here. Come! hand it over."

will not."

at had scarcely spoken when Rufus Cameron caught him roughly by t


Look here, boy, I am not a man to be trifled with!" he whispered, fiercel

Let me see the paper, and it will be all right. But if you won't, I'll make

hole lot of trouble for you."

Let go of me!" and Nat tried to pull himself away.

You stole this ring while you were upstairs," said Rufus Cameron, quickl

d, putting his hand in Nat's side pocket, he brought it out again with

amond ring.

—I never saw that ring before," gasped Nat.

You stole it, I say, and unless you behave yourself, I'll have you arrested

ent on Rufus Cameron, coldly.

at was dumfounded, but like a flash he saw through the trick that the m

anted to play on him.

You can't fool me, Mr. Rufus Cameron," said he, sharply. "Let me go, or I

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ve you hauled up in court for this. Your dirty trick won't work with me."

ufus Cameron fell back, crestfallen. He had not anticipated such bravery

ur hero's part. He was a coward at heart, and too much liquor h

mewhat muddled his brain.

Then you won't show me the document?" he muttered.


s Nat uttered the word, Rufus Cameron picked up a sea shell lying on

antelshelf, and swung it behind his head.

f you don't let me see that——" he began.

at rushed at him, and pushed him to one side. Then our hero made for t

oor. He was just opening it when the seashell was sent whizzing forward.

t Nat on the head, and the boy dropped unconscious across an easy chair

or the instant Rufus Cameron was startled. Then rushing to the door,

cked it, and also locked some folding doors leading to a rear apartment.

hope I didn't hurt him much," he muttered. "What a young fool he was n

let me see the paper."

e propped Nat up in the easy chair, and placed his hand in the boy's insi

ocket. Soon he had the document in his possession, and was looking over


ust as I thought. I'm glad I got it. Now, we'll see if Shanley and I can't outw

r. John Garwell."

at was already coming to his senses, and Rufus Cameron lost no time

urrying to the library of the house. Here he obtained an old document of

nsequence, but which still bore his aunt's signature. Rushing back, he plac


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at was just returning to his senses when he found himself being taken out

e house by Rufus Cameron. The man supported him as far as the corner a

ere placed him on a stone step leading to a church.

Wha—what did you hit me for?" stammered our hero, feebly.

didn't mean to do that; really I didn't," said Rufus Cameron, smoothly. "T

ell slipped. I am very sorry—very sorry, indeed."

was a mean thing to do."

was an accident, I give you my word on it."

at felt in his pocket to learn if the document was still there.

Did you look at that paper?" he questioned.

No, I didn't. On second thought I have concluded to let my aunt do just

e pleases in this matter."

at felt in no condition to argue. He took out the document, glanced at it, a

oved it back into the envelope and then in his pocket.

m sorry this happened. I was excited for the minute. Come and have a dri

ith me. It will do you good," went on Rufus Cameron.

don't drink."

hall I show you to the car then?"


When Nat got up the rascal supported him, and thus they made their way

e car line running to the Bridge. Here, our hero boarded a car, and Rufameron watched him ride out of sight.

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That was easy after all," muttered Rufus Cameron to himself. "I only hope

on't make too much trouble in the future. I'll have to let Shanley have th

ocument without delay, and I'd better get out of sight until the affair blow


aking his way to a neighboring café, Rufus Cameron treated himself to

ink of strong liquor and a black-looking cigar. Then he returned to his aun

ome. He lived with her, and was doing his best to get certain of h

operties away from her.

Aunt Jane, what did that young man want?" he asked, as he entered h


He came to see me on private business, Rufus," was the quiet answer. M

arloe did not fancy her nephew's habits, and had often warned him that

ust reform.

Was there anything I could do for you?"

No, Rufus."

Do you know, Aunt Jane, I've been thinking of taking a trip to the West," h

ent on, after a pause.

o you said before."

d go in a minute if I had the money."

How much do you want?"

Two or three hundred dollars at least."

s the money gone that I let you have last month?"

Yes, I had to pay some back bills with that."

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ou are very ex ravagan , u us.

Oh, a young man must spend something."

But not as much as you spend."

don't spend any more than the rest of the fellows in my set. I have got

ep up appearances, you know."

Your set is altogether too fast a one to suit me."

Will you let me have the money?"

How long do you expect to be gone?"

That depends upon what you will give me. If you'll let me have five hundr

ollars, I'll make a trip of two or three months."

rs. Parloe thought for a moment, and at last consented to give her nephe

e five hundred. She had her check book handy, and soon the check w

ssed over to the nephew.

When shall you start?" she asked.

don't know. I've a good notion to start to-night. But if you want me to d

ything for you before I go——"

There is nothing, Rufus. Only, if you want to please me, don't get into a

d habits while you are gone."

Oh, I'm going to turn over a new leaf when I leave Brooklyn," said t

ypocrite. "Then, I can leave to-night?"


n that case, I'll pack my trunk at once," said Rufus Cameron; and a little ladid so. Then he had the trunk taken away, bid his aunt good-by, and w

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That was easy," he said to himself, when away from the house. "Now to s

hanley and to arrange for keeping out of sight, in case John Garwell kicks




s soon as Nat returned to the office he sought out Mr. Garwell, and hand

m the document in the envelope.

Did you have any trouble getting Mrs. Parloe's signature?" asked the rtate broker.

had no trouble getting the signature, but I had trouble getting away from t

ouse," answered Nat.

Trouble getting away? What do you mean?"

was stopped by her nephew, a man named Rufus Cameron. He handled m

ther roughly."

Did he try to get the document away from you?" And now John Garwell w


He hauled me in the parlor, and demanded that I let him look at the paperfused, and then he threatened me."

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ll see about this without delay," said John Garwell, decisively. "I will sho

at fellow that he can't carry matters with quite such a high hand."

What can he do with that paper, Mr. Garwell?"

He can cause me a great deal of trouble. The paper refers to a piece operty in which Mrs. Parloe held an interest. I have been trying to get a fr

d clear title to the land for a client of mine, and another real estate dea

med Andrew Shanley has been trying to get the land for another party. It

mixed-up affair, but I hoped the signing of that paper would help

aighten out matters."

he real estate broker was as good as his word, but he was exceedingly bus

d it was not until two in the afternoon that he could get away. Then he we

Brooklyn, taking Nat with him.

would like to see Mr. Cameron," said he to the girl at Mrs. Parloe's home

Mr. Cameron has gone away, sir," was the unexpected answer.

Do you know when he will be back?"

ll ask Mrs. Parloe," said the girl.

he went upstairs, leaving them in the parlor below. Soon she came back.

He has gone out west, Mrs. Parloe says, and she doesn't expect him back f

wo or three months."

Gone west," cried Nat. "When did he go?"

He went away about noon."

Did he take any baggage?" asked John Garwell.

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es, s r, a ress-su case, an e sen an expressman aroun or s runo."

Then I won't bother you any more," said the real estate broker, and left t

ouse, followed by Nat.

Don't you want to ask Mrs. Parloe about this?" queried our hero.

t would be useless to do so, Nat. It would only upset the old lady."

he might be able to tell us just where her nephew had gone to?"

t is not likely. He intends to keep out of the way, that is certain."

Maybe he didn't go west at all!" said our hero, suddenly.

uch a thing is possible."

Did you say he was in league with this other real estate broker?"

don't know about that, although I know he and this Shanley are friends."

wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea for me to watch around this Shanle

fice for him?"

Ha! That is an idea." John Garwell smiled broadly. "Nat, you are growi


Even if I couldn't get the paper, I could prove that he had not gone west, told his aunt, and I could follow him, and find out where he was stopping

Well, you can do the watching if you wish. I will give you Andrew V

hanley's address. His place of business is between here and the Bridge."

hall I go there at once?"

f you wish."

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he address was written on a slip of paper, and a little later Nat and h

mployer separated. John Garwell gazed after our hero curiously.

He is improving wonderfully," he mused. "He isn't half as green as when I fi

et him."

at had been told what car to take, and ten minutes sufficed to bring him e block upon which Andrew Shanley's office was located, on the third flo

a large office building. He went upstairs, and managed to get a peep in

e office, and found Rufus Cameron was not there.

Of course he may have been here already," he told himself. "But I've got

ke my chances about that. I'll stay here until the place shuts up."

oing below again, he took a station across the street and began to w

tiently for the appearance of Rufus Cameron.

s luck would have it, he had waited less than half an hour when he saw M

arloe's nephew step from a car at the corner, and approach the offi


Mr. Cameron, I want to see you!" he exclaimed, coming forward, an

nfronting the man.

ufus Cameron had not expected to meet Nat again so soon, and for t

oment he was dumfounded.

Wha—what do you want?" he stammered, halting.

You know well enough what I want," answered our hero, sharply. "I wa

at document you stole from me."

tole from you!"

That is what I said, Rufus Cameron."

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—I don't know what you are talking about."

You do know, and unless you give up the paper I am going to have y

rested right now."

t these words Rufus Cameron turned pale. As said before, he was a go

al of a coward, and being caught so unexpectedly threw him somewhom his mental balance.

You—you can't have me arrested!"

Yes, I can."

How did you come to look for me here?"Mr. Garwell sent me here. He is up to your tricks."

Did he tell you to—to have me arrested?"

Never mind what he told me. I want that paper, and I want it right now."

—I haven't got any paper. I—I don't know what you are talking about."

Yes, you have got that paper. You took it from me after you knocked m

own in your aunt's parlor. Isn't that so?"

s Nat finished he nodded, as if talking to somebody behind Rufus Camero

t once the guilty fellow turned his head to learn who was listening to t

nversation. As he did this, Nat thrust his hand in the rascal's breast pock

d brought forth the document which had caused all the trouble.

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Hi, stop that!" roared Rufus Cameron, making a clutch for the document. B

fore he could reach it Nat was at a safe distance. Our hero glanced at tper, to make certain that it was the right one, and then put it in his pock

d buttoned up his jacket.

Now, Mr. Rufus Cameron, I guess we are square," said Nat, in something

ne of triumph.

You young thief, give me back that document," cried the man, savagely.

Not much! I am going to give it to Mr. Garwell."

That isn't his document."

Yes, it is."

say it isn't. If you don't give me the paper, I'll call a policeman."

Do it, and I'll have you arrested for knocking me over with the sea shell a

bbing me."

ufus Cameron glared at our hero. He was baffled and did not know what

o next. Presently a crafty look came into his eyes.

ee here, you're a pretty smart boy," he said, in a calmer tone.

Thank you for nothing."

What is John Garwell going to give you for getting that paper?"

Nothing—at least I don't expect anything."

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aw e rasca ou , an earn poss e ow va ua e u us ameron reansidered the document.

A hundred dollars! Nonsense! But I'll tell you what I'll do. I'm sorry

nocked you down at my aunt's house. I'll give you twenty-five dollars."

When will you pay me?"

Now," and Rufus Cameron brought forth a roll of bills.

You can keep your money, Rufus Cameron."


wouldn't touch a penny of it. Do you know what I think? I think you arest-class scoundrel."

What! This to me?" stormed the fellow, shoving his money back into h


Yes, that to you. I am sorry Mrs. Parloe has such a rascal for a relativ

ow, I am going to bid you good-day." And Nat began to move away.

Come back here, you young villain!" cried Rufus Cameron.

e made a dash for our hero, but Nat was too quick for him. The boy r

ross the street and around a corner, and in a moment more was out of sigh

ufus Cameron shook his fist in impotent rage.

The jig's up!" he muttered. "What a mess! I thought I'd get a thousand dolla

ut of Shanley for that paper!"

at did not slacken his pace until he had reached the river. Then he r

oard a ferry boat, and journeyed thus to New York, thinking that possib

s enemy would watch the cars.When our hero reached the office he found that the re ular force of clerks h

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 ready left, but his employer was still at his desk, finishing up some busine


Hullo! you are back quickly," exclaimed John Garwell.

Yes, sir, and there's the document," answered Nat, and placed the paper o

e desk.

hn Garwell stared in amazement.

Why, how did this happen?" he queried.

t was blind luck, I guess," said Nat, and sitting down, he told his tale.

You certainly were lucky. So that rascal wanted to bribe you?"

Yes. I half felt like knocking him down for it." And Nat's eyes flashed.

t would have served him right." The real estate broker looked the docume

ver. "Yes, this is all right." He opened the sheet. "Hullo, here is

emorandum of some kind."

he memorandum was on a sheet of plain white paper. It contained a nam

d address and some figures.

Eureka!" almost shouted the real estate broker. "This is luck, truly."

What have you found, Mr. Garwell?"An address I have been hunting for for over a year. Now I can put that re

tate deal through without further trouble. I knew Shanley or this Camer

d that address, but, of course, they wouldn't give it to me."

m glad I got it for you."

imagine Rufus Cameron will be very angry when he learns that he has l


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's his own fault."

here was nothing more for Nat to do that day, so he went home, and in t

ening attended the night school where he had taken up shorthand a

pewriting. He was making rapid progress, and he applied himself diligently

n the following day, John Garwell was away from the office until the midd

the afternoon, and he also went off the next morning. On his return, his fa

ore a satisfied look.

Well, that thing is settled," he said, on dropping into his chair. "And what

w I did have with Mr. Andrew V. Shanley!"

You mean about that property?" queried Nat, looking up from his work at

de desk.

Yes. I have sold the property and got my commissions, amounting to fo

ousand dollars in all. Shanley was as mad as a hornet."

Did he mention Rufus Cameron?"

No, but I did, and told him just what a dirty sneak the fellow was. After th

hanley shut up pretty quick."

Do you suppose Rufus Cameron can do anything more in the matter?"

No. But he will have it in for you, Nat, I am afraid."

Oh, I guess I can take care of myself," answered our hero, calmly.

This Shanley has tried to trip me up several times," went on John Garwe

aning back in his office chair. "He tries to find out what I am doing, and th

does his best to steal the business away from me."

Maybe this will teach him a lesson."

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ossibly; but I am afraid not, Nat."

everal days passed, and Nat kept at work steadily. During that time

ceived a letter from his uncle, in which Abner Balberry stated that he h

rived home once more, and found everything on the farm all right.

Uncle Abner isn't such a bad sort after all," thought Nat, "Only he ought

op some of his miserly habits. Perhaps, now that he is married again,


ne day our hero had to go up to One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street on


Take an elevated train," said his employer, and handed him the necessa


did not take Nat long to reach the elevated station. Purchasing a ticket,

opped it in the box, and walked out on the platform.

nly a few people were present, for it was the quiet hour of the morninmong the number was a thick-set, trampish-looking fellow, who w

moking a short clay pipe. The man was more than half intoxicated, a

rched from side to side as he walked along the platform.

That fellow had better look out for himself," thought our hero. "If he is

reful, he may fall out on the tracks and get hurt."

s our hero had some time to wait for a train, he passed the man seve

mes. The face of the fellow looked familiar, and Nat wondered where he h

en him before.

ve certainly met him somewhere," thought the boy. "But where? I don't thi

was in New York."

esentl the elevated train came into si ht and those on the latform re ar

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 get aboard when it should stop for them.

he man lurched forward as before, and of a sudden fell sprawling directly

ont of the train.



cry of horror went up from those who saw the mishap, and some wom

esent turned their heads away, expecting that the semi-intoxicated individu

ould be killed.

at's heart leaped into his throat, but he did not lose his presence of mind. Has but a few feet from the man, and as quick as a flash he jumped forwa

ught the fellow up, and dragged him out of harm's way.

Wha—what yer doin'?" stammered the fellow, gazing unsteadily at our hero

Do you want to be killed?" asked Nat, sharply.

They won't—won't dare to kill me," said the fellow. "I'm a—a—go


He ought to be locked up," said a man standing near.

t was a brave deed," said one of the ladies.

Who's goin' to lock me up?" demanded the tramp, for he was nothing le

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n e egan to s ow g t, at w c t e ma or ty o t e crow turne awa

d hurried to board the train. Nat hesitated for a second, and then conclud

let the train go on and take the next one.

ay, you pulled me from the track, didn't you?" said the man, after anoth

ok at Nat.


Noble boy. I ought to reward you."

don't want any reward."

Humph! Don't worry, my dear friend—Tom Nolan ain't got no money

ward you with." And the semi-drunken man indulged in a senseless chuckl

ee here, haven't I met you before?" demanded Nat, looking at the m

ore closely than ever.

Maybe yer have, an' maybe yer haven't."

Where do you come from?"

Me? I'm an Ohio man, I am, and I ain't ashamed to own it. Ohio's best Sta

the Union."

o you are from Ohio. Were you ever in and around Brookville a

aswell?" went on our hero, suddenly.ure. I spent two months in that district not very long ago. But I had to

ut, I did." And the tramp chuckled again.

What made you get out?" And now Nat was all attention.

olks didn't like me around."

Didn't you treat them fairly?"

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ure I did, but they thought their barns was too good for Tom Nolan to sle


And that's why they chased you away, eh?"

Thet's it, my young friend. It was this way—to tell the plain truth. One nigh

ent to sleep in a barn with my pipe in my mouth. Fust thing I knowed som

y got afire. A man came runnin' to put the fire out, and I had to leg it to g


Was that up between Caswell and Brookville?"

You've struck it, but—but—what's this to you, anyway?" and now Toolan began to look disturbed.

t's a good deal to me. That was my uncle's barn, and I was accused

tting it on fire."

Gee shoo! Yer don't say! Say, I've put my foot into it, ain't I?"

You certainly have."

But, say, honest, I—I didn't mean to set the shebang afire—not on my life


You were smoking, and fell asleep."

Thet's the honest truth o' the matter, my young friend. I'm a tramp, an' dow

n my luck, but I ain't no barn burner, not me!"

Well, you had better come with me," said Nat, decidedly.

What are yer goin' to do?"

want a witness to what you just said."

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o n o ave me—me oc e up

No, it's not worth it. I only want to prove to my uncle that I am not guilt

at's all."

he tramp followed Nat down into the street and then over to John Garwe


Why, what does this mean, Nat?" demanded his employer, in astonishmen

r visits from tramps were unusual.

ur hero lost no time in telling his story.

want my uncle Abner to know that I am innocent, that's all," he continue

t won't do any good to hold this chap, for the barn wasn't hurt muc


ll settle this," said Mr. Garwell, and called in a stenographer, who too

own what the tramp had to say. Then the confession was typewritten, an

om Nolan signed it, and John Garwell added his signature as a witness.

There, Nat, that is all right now," said the real estate broker. "You can sen

at to your uncle when you please, and we can keep a copy."

This is all I want," said our hero to the tramp. "You may go now."

Don't want no more o' me?" asked Tom Nolan.

Nothing whatever."

ay, ain't this confession good fer a quarter?"

ll give you a quarter if you'll promise not to spend it for drink."

ll promise," said the tramp, and Nat handed him twenty-five cents. To

olan thanked him, and shuffled off; and that was the last our hero saw

ard of him.

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m sorry I lost so much time," said Nat to his employer. "But I wanted

uare myself with Uncle Abner if I could."

don't blame you, Nat. I have no doubt it is a great worry off your mind."

is. Now, Uncle Abner will know I told him the plain truth."hat night Nat wrote Abner Balberry a long letter, telling of his meeting wi

e tramp. He enclosed the signed confession, and he had the letter registere

that it might not get lost in the mails. A few days later came a reply,

hich Nat's uncle said he remembered seeing the tramp around on the day

e fire, and stating that he was very sorry that he had ever thought his nephe


at's work frequently took him out of town, and on one occasion he had

o to Albany, a trip which he enjoyed thoroughly, as it gave him a chance

sit the State Capitol.

Nat," said John Garwell one day, "didn't you once tell me, that your fathd grandfather had come from New York and Brooklyn?"

Yes, sir."

Was your grandfather ever interested in some property around Cent


don't know but what he was. But he got rid of his belongings, so I was to

hen he moved away."

Did you ever see any of the papers?"

Yes, sir, some years ago. They were in a trunk up in my uncle Abne

rret."What was our randfather's full name?"

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explain just what I am after. Besides, if the papers are valuable, you h

tter not trust them to the mails. I'll pay your railroad fares."

All right, I'll go home for them whenever you say, Mr. Garwell. I hope th

pers do prove valuable," and Nat smiled broadly.

Don't raise false hopes, Nat. There may be nothing in it. But there is nothike being sure."

s the tract of land valuable?"

Very. It is located in the most fashionable territory around Central Park."

When do you want me to go home?"

You can start to-morrow if you wish. There is no rush of business on just

esent. I presume you will be back within four or five days?"

ll come back as soon as possible."

Take your time. A couple of days on the farm will do you good. It will be liktouch of old times."

That is true," answered Nat.

he opportunity to go back to the farm pleased him. He packed his dress-s

se that night, and left on the ten-o'clock train in the morning. He w

essed in his best and had quite a city air about him. Certainly he could nger be called a "greeny."

at spent the night at Cleveland, and took the train to Brookville in t

orning. Almost the first person he met in the town was Sam Price.

Hullo, are you back?" cried the country boy, shaking hands.

Back for a few days, Sam."

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You look fine, Nat."

feel fine. How are you getting along?"

retty good. Life on the farm is rather slow. Somebody told me you we

ed of the city."

t isn't true, Sam."

red Guff says he wants to go to the city, too, but his mother won't let him.

suppose Fred helps my uncle Abner?"

Yes, but your uncle don't get along with him very well. Fred's too slow fm."

am had driven to town with his buckboard, and he readily agreed to gi

at a ride over to Abner Balberry's farm. They were soon on the way, an

ss than an hour brought them in sight of the place.

ome young man is coming, ma!" cried Fred, who was sitting on toorstep, munching an apple. "Sam Price is driving him."

Wonder what he wants here?" said Mrs. Balberry, shading her eyes with h

nds. "Mercy sakes! It's Nat!"

Nat!" repeated the boy. "Huh! if it's him I guess he's sick of the city. I thoug

wouldn't make a go of it."

Don't you be too sure of that," said the mother, shortly. "Nat has more ging

him than you have."

y this time Nat was at the horseblock. He leaped off the buckboard, a

vanced to greet Mrs. Balberry and her son.

How do you do?" he cried, cheerily. "Aren't you surprised to see me?"

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certainly am," answered Mrs. Balberry, as she shook hands.

Got tired of the city, eh?" came from Fred. "I knew it wouldn't last."

Do you think you could do anything in the city?" demanded our hero, sharp

Of course I could."

t's hard work to get along in New York."

don't care—I wouldn't make a failure of it if I went. I guess you was

mart enough for them New Yorkers," added Fred, maliciously.

What makes you think that, Fred?"

f it wasn't so you wouldn't be back."

Have you given up your place with Mr. Garwell?" asked Mrs. Balberry.

No, I'm home on a vacation of a couple of days, that's all."

Oh, then you are going back?" came from Fred, and his face fell.

Certainly I am. I have a first-class position, with a promise of advanceme

it would be sheer foolishness for me to give it up."

Ma said you were with a real estate man."


That can't pay much."

pays very well."

How much?"

Ten dollars a week, at present. But I am to get more soon."

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You don't mean to say they pay you ten dollars a week," cried Fred.

That is my regular salary."

Then I'm going to the city to-morrow," said Fred, decidedly.



at now asked for his uncle and was told that his relative was at the bar

acing his dress-suit case in the house, he walked down to the barn. In t

eantime Sam Price had driven off.

Uncle Abner, where are you?"

Who's thet a-callin' me?" came from the farmer, as he looked forth from o

the horse stalls.

ve come to ask you for a job," went on Nat, lightly.

Nat! How be you?" Abner came and shook hands. "Want a job? Is it all u

New York?"

No, uncle, I was only fooling. I came home for a vacation of a couple

ys, that's all."

Well, you're welcome, Nat. But it must cost money to travel so far for jwo days' vacation."

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came for another purpose, too. Do you remember those old papers in t

unk in the garret?"

Those thet belonged to your father an' grandfather?"

Yes. Well, I am going to look them over and see if they are of any value."

Ain't nuthin' of any use, Nat. I looked over 'em myself, one rainy day when

dn't have nuthin' else to do."

Mr. Garwell thinks some of them might be valuable."

Does he know about 'em?"

He only knows what I told him."

The old debts is all outlawed."

But there are other papers—something about some land grandfather had

terest in."

don't know nuthin' about that. It's so long ago, I don't believe they a

orth a cent."

Well, it won't do any harm to look them over, and show them to M

arwell," returned our hero.

was approaching the noon hour, and in honor of Nat's arrival, Malberry prepared an extra good dinner, of which the boy partook freely.

as plainly to be seen that the former widow was the ruler of the house, a

at she compelled Abner Balberry to be far more liberal than had been h

bit in years gone by.

Have another piece of pie, Nat," said the lady of the house, graciously.

Thank you, but I've had enough," answered Nat.

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Better save what's left for to-morrow," suggested Abner Balberry.

f Nat wants another piece, he shall have it," was the lady's quick answer.

Oh, certainly! certainly!"

Ma, I want another piece," came promptly from Fred.

You've had two pieces already, Fred."

want another."

Not to-day."

ust a little piece!"

Not another mouthful!" And Mrs. Balberry placed the remainder of the pie

e cupboard.

can't never have nothing!" cried Fred, kicking the leg of the table.

You'll have a box on the ears, Fred Guff, if you don't behave yourselswered his mother, and then there was silence.

fter dinner, Nat talked with his uncle for a while, and then putting on an o

at, went up into the dusty garret, and hauled out the old trunk. It w

apped, but not locked, so he had no trouble in opening it.

What are you going to do?" asked Fred, who had followed him.

Look over some papers," answered our hero, briefly.

Want me to help you?"


What are you going to do with the papers?"

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Take some of them to the city with me."

Are they yours?"


ay, don't you think it would be a good plan for me to go to the city and gitb at ten dollars a week?" went on Fred, sitting down on the top garret step

Yes, if you could get the ten-dollar job."

Why can't I git it? You got it."

was lucky, that's all, Fred. Before I got it I might have starved to death."

Huh! Couldn't you git me a job with your boss?"

don't think so."

m just as smart as you are, Nat Nason."

o this our hero made no reply. He had brought out some of the papers, anas looking them over with much interest.

f you don't want to help me git a job, I'll git one on my own hook," continu

ed, who was as dull as he considered himself bright.

Well, you have a right to do as you please," said Nat. "But please leave m

one now, Fred; I want to read these very carefully."

Huh! I'm going to stay in the garret as long as I please."

at said no more, and Fred began to kick the step upon which he was sittin

hen, he began to thump on the rafters of the garret, bringing down some d

n Nat's that Fred!" cried our hero shar l . "Sto it I sa !"

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ain't goin' to stop."

f you don't stop, I'll put you downstairs, first thing you know."

You can't do it."

Yes, I can."

Do you want to fight?" demanded Fred, rising and squaring off.

No, but I want you to leave me alone."

ain't touched you."

No, but you were knocking the dirt down on me. Why can't you leave m


ve got as much right in this garret as you have, that's why."

You are mean."

Don't you call me mean!" blustered Fred, and coming closer, he hit Nat

e shoulder. At once our hero hit back, and Fred received a thump in th

outh that caused him to topple backwards.

Don't!" he screamed. "Don't—don't hit me again."

Now, are you going to leave me alone?" demanded Nat.

ll tell my ma on you."

f you do, I shall tell her how you annoyed me," answered Nat.

Come down in the barnyard and I'll fight with you," said Fred, but, as

oke, he retreated down the stairs.Don't be a fool Fred. Behave ourself and we'll et alon all ri ht " said N

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 d then Fred passed to the lower floor, banging the stairway door after him

here was a hook on the door, and this he fastened after him.

Now, Nat can stay in the garret till I let him out," he muttered to himself.

When left to himself, Nat dragged the old trunk to one of the windows of t

rret, and then began a systematic investigation of all the papers the bntained. He soon learned that the majority of the documents were of

mportance, but there were half a dozen which looked of possible value, a

ese he placed in his pocket. Two of the sheets referred directly to the land

ew York City.

hope these are what Mr. Garwell is looking for," he said to himself.aving put the trunk back where it belonged, Nat started to go below, only

nd the door hooked fast from the other side.

red!" he called out loudly. "Fred, open the door!"

Ha! ha! Nat Nason, how do you like being a prisoner?" came from Fre

ho had been resting on a bed in a nearby room.

want you to open the door."

What will you give me if I do?"

ll tell you what I'll give you if you don't!" cried Nat, angrily.


A good thrashing."

You can't do it."

Are you going to open the door?"


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ed had scarcely spoken when Nat pressed on the door, and the hook fle

om its fastening. As the door burst open, Nat leaped from the stairway an

ught the other boy by the collar.

Now, then, that for locking me in," he cried, and boxed Fred's ears soundly

top!" roared Fred. "Stop, Nat Nason."

Will you behave yourself after this, and leave me alone?"

Yes! yes!"

Then, see that you do," went on Nat, and flung the other boy from him. Frcked himself up in a hurry, and ran below. He vowed he would get squar

ut during Nat's stay at the farm he could not muster up courage to do so.



n the following day Nat arose at five o'clock, and put on an old suit

othes. Slipping downstairs he hurried to the barn, where he fed the hors

d then milked the cows. He was just finishing up when his uncle appeared

Well, I never!" ejaculated Abner Balberry. "Right back into harness ag'i


Yes, Uncle Abner; I thought I'd like a little taste of old times."

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, .e in Cleveland. I thought you were in New York."

ve been back to the farm for a couple of days—on business and pleasu

mbined. Aren't you in Buffalo and Niagara Falls any more?"

Oh, yes, a law case brought me here. How are you doing?"

Very well indeed."

am glad to hear it."

You were awfully good to give me that hundred dollars," continued N

rnestly, "I never expected it."

hope it did you lots of good, Nat."

t did and it didn't."

What do you mean?"

The money was stolen from me—or rather I was swindled out of it. Thpened my eyes to the fact that I was not as smart as I had imagined myself

." And then our hero related the experience he had had with Nick Smithe

as Hamilton Dart.

That was too bad," said Paul Hampton. "I trust you locate this Smithers som


o do I."

What are you doing?"

am with a real estate broker. I am learning shorthand and typewriting, and

m to become his private secretary."

Then you are on the right road, and I congratulate you. The real esta

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us ness s an exce en one, espec a y n a arge c y e ew or .

aul Hampton walked to the depot with Nat and saw him on the cars. So

ur hero was off. The trip back to the metropolis was made without anythi

ut of the ordinary happening.

o you are back," said John Garwell, when our hero presented himself at t

fice. "I hope you enjoyed the trip."

did, very much, Mr. Garwell."

How did your uncle treat you?"

inely, sir."

Did you find any papers of value?" went on the real estate broker.

found half a dozen which I wish you would look over." And Nat broug

rth the documents.

am anxious to close that real estate deal," went on John Garwell. "Othe

e getting wind of it, including that fellow Shanley from Brooklyn. He is dois best to make me lose on the deal."

s Rufus Cameron in with him?"

believe he is. Both of them are very bitter."

suppose they are bitter against me too," observed Nat soberly.

is more than likely. But that can't be helped, Nat. In business a man

ound to make more or less of enemies."

hn Garwell was very busy, and said he would look over the documents t

xt day. But on the following morning he was called out of town, so t

ocuments were not examined until some days later.

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elling papers, and doing odd jobs. I couldn't get anything steady."

Did you try to find me?"

No," and the gawk of a boy hung his head.

Why not?"Because I—I wanted to make my own way, same as you are doing. But, o

at, it's awfully hard."

Where have you been staying nights?"

One night I slept in a doorway, and last night I slept in a park until

oliceman came and chased me away."

ed looked so forlorn and hungry that Nat could not help but pity him

oming to the city to earn his living had evidently hit Fred hard.

Had any supper?" he asked, kindly.

had a—a bun."

s that all?"


How much money have you?"

ifteen cents, and I wanted to make that last just as long as I could."

Come with me, and I'll get you something to eat," said our hero.

ed was willing enough, and seated at a table in a restaurant he fai

voured the beef and beans, bread and coffee set before him.

Have a piece of lemon pie?" asked Nat.

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Can you afford it, Nat?"

guess so," and our hero ordered the pie, and also ate a piece, and drank

ass of milk, to keep Fred company.

costs a terrible pile to live in the city," sighed Fred. "You've got to pay f

erything. When I landed, a man made me pay ten cents for crossing a torp street."

He swindled you, Fred."

Maybe he did. I know he ran off as soon as he got the money."

Where were you going to stop to-night?"

—I don't know."

You had better come with me."

—I can't pay for regular lodging," and again the boy from the farm hung

ad.Well, I'll do the paying."

Will you?" Fred's face brightened. "Say, Nat, you're real good! I'm sorry

eated you so meanly when you paid us a visit."

We'll let that pass. Now, you are here, the question is, what are you going


Can't I find a job? I'm willing to do anything."

We'll see about that."

hey walked to Mrs. Talcott's place, and here Nat explained the situatio

d Fred was placed in a room that chanced to be vacant. He w

ceedin l tired and dro ed to slee almost instantl .

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m going to telegraph to Brookville that you are here and safe," said Nat, t

xt morning. "I don't want your mother to worry about you." And t

egram was sent off before our hero went to the office. Nat gave Fred

ollar, and told him to try his best that day to find something to do.

ll get something," said Fred, but that night he came back greasheartened.

couldn't get a thing," he declared. "I tried about fifty places. In one place

an kicked me out, and in another place a lot of boys called me 'Haysee

d threw lumps of dirt at me. I—I guess I'll go back to the farm."

Don't you want to try it for another day?" asked Nat. "I'll pay your way." H

new the experience would do Fred good. The boy from the coun

nsented; but at night he returned more discouraged than ever.

was a big fool to leave the farm," he sighed. "The city is no place for m

he noise makes my head ache, and I get lost every time I turn a corner

ish I was back to Brookville."

Very well, you shall start back to-morrow," answered Nat.

But I ain't got the carfare, and I hate to try riding on the freight cars again."

ll get you a railroad ticket," answered Nat, and he did so, and also ga

ed some change for his meals. Fred was more than thankful, and actuaied on parting.

You're the best boy in the world, Nat," he sobbed. "The very best! Just w

l you come back to the farm! I'll show you how I can treat you!" And th

was off for home, a sadder but a wiser youth.

To go back to the farm was the best thing that fellow could do," was Dicmment. "Why, he wouldn't amount to shucks here, even if he stayed

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We can't all be city folks," said Mrs. Talcott. "Some men must rema


The trouble with Fred is, he doesn't like to work," said Nat. "But this m

ach him a lesson."

n the day that Fred left, Nat was called to the office by John Garwell.

Nat, I want you to go to Springfield, Massachusetts, immediately," said t

al estate broker. "See when you can catch a train."

A train leaves the Grand Central Depot at eleven-thirty," was our heroswer, after consulting a time-table.

Then you have plenty of time. Take this document and turn it over to M

erry Robertson."

Yes, sir."

Don't give it to anybody else."

hall I wait for Mr. Robertson, if he isn't in when I call?"


All right, sir."

o more was said, and Nat prepared for the trip without further delay. H

ished to ask his employer about the documents found in the trunk, but sa

at Mr. Garwell was too busy to be interrupted.

at was getting used to taking short trips to various cities, so the ride

pringfield was no great novelty. He put in part of his time at readingwspaper, and the balance at studying shorthand from a book which

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rriving at Springfield, Nat found he would have to wait until evening befo

could see Mr. Perry Robertson. This made him stay in the city overnig

d he did not arrange to go back to New York until ten o'clock the ne


e had just paid his bill at the hotel, and was passing the smoking room, wh

saw a man who looked familiar, get up from reading a newspaper, an

alk toward him.

Hamilton Dart!" gasped our hero, and rushing forward he caught the swind

y the arm.



he fellow who had posed as a broker and commission merchant was tak

mpletely by surprise when confronted by Nat, and for the moment did n

now what to say.

guess you didn't expect to see me again," said our hero, after a pau

uring which Nick Smithers—to use his real name—glared fiercely at t


Excuse me, boy, but I don't know you!" said the swindler, at last. "You hav

ade a strange mistake."

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Oh, no, I haven't," answered Nat. "You are Hamilton Dart, alias Ni


My dear young friend you are in error. My name is Josiah Garfield, and I a

om Concord, Massachusetts."

am not mistaken. You are Nick Smithers, and you are the rascal whwindled me in New York City."

Boy, you must be mad!" burst out Nick Smithers, in assumed indignation. "I

windler! Preposterous!"

's the plain truth, and there is no use of your denying it."

y this time a small crowd was gathering around. Soon a clerk of the ho

me up hastily.

What's the trouble here?" he questioned, anxiously.

This boy is crazy," said Nick Smithers.

No, I am not. This man is a swindler, and I want him arrested," came fro

at. He made up his mind, come what might, he would stand up for his righ

am an honest man—well-known in Concord, where I keep a jewe

tablishment," puffed Nick Smithers. "This is an insult to me." He turned

e hotel clerk. "I shall hold your hotel responsible for this."

—this looks as if you were making a mistake," said the clerk to Nat. "Th

ntleman has been stopping here for over a week. He is registered on o

ook as Josiah Garfield."

He has half a dozen names," said Nat. "I tell you he is a swindler."

And I say the boy is crazy. Boy, if you say another word, I'll have you lockp."

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ick Smithers thought Nat was so green that he would back down, but f

nce he made a mistake.

Call a policeman, please," he said to the clerk. "We can talk this over wh

e get to the police headquarters."

Are you sure of what you are doing?" asked the clerk.

Yes, I am sure of it. I can prove beyond any doubt whatever that this fello

a confidence man and a swindler. He swindled me out of a hundred dolla

New York, and he swindled several others out of the same amount. Ju

lp me to lock him up and I'll get all the witnesses necessary."

That's straight talk," came from a commercial traveler standing nearby. "If t

oy can prove what he says this man ought to be arrested by all means."

He can't prove a thing," answered Nick Smithers, but he began to grow h

d cold, for he realized that Nat meant business and was not to be overaw

easily as he had imagined.

ll call a cop!" piped in a newsboy who had drifted into the room. "I see o

n de corner a minit ago," and away he ran to execute his errand.

The police will have to settle this," said the hotel clerk. "If you are making

istake it will cost you dear," he added, to Nat.

am making no mistake," answered our hero, firmly.

his reply set Nick Smithers to thinking. To try to bluff Nat was one thing;

ove his innocence at the police station might be quite another.

can't bother to go to the station—I've got to get a train for Boston!"

ied, and ran from the room with all of his speed.

top him!" yelled Nat, and, began to give chase. "Stop him!"

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he cry was taken up by several others, and all began to run after Ni


Keep my valise—I'll catch him if I can!" said Nat, to the hotel clerk, and

sped, and was soon ahead of the others who had joined in the chase.

there was one thing that Nick Smithers could do well, it was to run, aow he made the best possible use of his rather long legs. He darted out o

de door of the hotel, down the square, and around a corner leading into

ck street lined with small shops and dwellings.

The young fool!" he muttered, as he sped along. "Who would have dream

his turning up in such a place as this?"

t last the swindler turned into another street. A car was passing and h

opped aboard this. Not to be seen, he dropped into a seat and crouch

own. He rode on the car a distance of a dozen squares and then left, a

urried to a small house setting far back, in a rather neglected garden. T

ouse was to let, and he pretended to be looking it over, and thus passed to

ck porch and out of sight.

at continued the hunt for the swindler for a good hour and then gave it up.

Well, how did you make out?" asked the hotel clerk, upon his return.

He got away from me."

He put on a pretty good front, if he was a swindler."

Yes—that's how he came to swindle me and several others," answered o


Did you report the case to the police?"

There is no use of doing that."

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Why not? They'll help you all they can."

That may be true. But by the time my report is in, that rascal will be miles a

iles away."

evertheless, Nat was persuaded to report to the city authorities before

ent to the railroad station. He had missed his train and so had to lay ovntil three hours later.

his was fortunate for him, for a little later came a telegram from Jo

arwell, which ran as follows:

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"Go to Albany at once and get papers from Caswick &


his made Nat change his plans, and he at once found out when a train cou

had for Albany. Half an hour later he was aboard of the cars, lit

eaming of the surprise in store for him.



fter the excitement of the chase was at an end, Nick Smithers had a chan

think matters over, and he concluded to get out of Springfield witholay.

e was much upset because of Nat's unexpected appearance, and the fa

at his satchel and belongings were still at the hotel did not tend to add to h

ood humor.

can't go for those things, or send for them," he reasoned. "Confound thoy! Who would ever have dreamed that he would make such trouble f

e? I took him for a regular country greeny. But he's as sharp as a razor!"

or a long time matters had been going illy with Nicholas Smithers, al

amilton Dart, alias half a dozen other names. He had tried to work one of

windling schemes in Springfield, but nobody had taken his bait, and his reands were consequently running low. When he had money he liv

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ravagan y, so a s -go en ga ns never as e m any grea eng


omething must be done, and that pretty soon," he reasoned. "Wond

here I had best go next?"

efore going to Springfield he had had in mind to try Albany, and now solved to go to the latter-named city by the first train. This train was the ve

ne upon which Nat was riding, but the swindler did not immediately discov


ome miles out of Springfield the train stopped at a small station. The on

rson in waiting was a young lady handsomely dressed, who did not appe

have any baggage. She got in, and as chance would have it, took a seose to the swindler.

ick Smithers had always interested himself in those around him, and

oked the young lady over carefully. She was certainly beautiful, and s

peared to be rich.

Traveling all alone, eh?" mused the swindler. "And no doubt she has mone

Wonder if I could get anything out of her?"

e watched his chance, and when she happened to drop her handkerchief,

omptly picked it up.

Charming day," said he, with a smile.

is indeed beautiful," said the young lady, turning her dark, brilliant eyes f

pon the rascal.

Do you enjoy riding in the cars?" he went on, with another smile.

? Well—I—I—What will you say to me when I tell you that now, for tst time, I find myself in the cars?"

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or the first time?" repeated Nick Smithers, in astonishment.

t is even so," said the young lady. "I do not wonder that you are surprised

—I presume there are few cases like mine." And she heaved a long sigh.

Here is certainly a mystery!" thought the confidence man. "Can she have liv

her life in the backwoods, or what? I must investigate this."

You are surprised?" she said, softly.

must confess that I am, madam. Perhaps you have a dislike to cars?"

No, not in the least."

Then——" And Nick Smithers paused questioningly.

—I—perhaps I had better tell my story," faltered the young lady. "I need

nfidant, and I need advice. Can I trust you, sir?"

You assuredly can," said the swindler, instantly. "If I can be of any servic

hatever to you, command me."he young lady glanced around shyly, to see that no other passengers we


presume I shall have to tell my whole story," went on the young lady. "It

ther long."

Never mind—we have plenty of time," answered Nick Smithers.

My father died when I, his only child, was very young. My mother w

ready dead. My father left a large fortune, estimated at that time, at abou

undred thousand dollars."

That's some money," thought the swindler. "I hope she has some of it wr."

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Of course, it was necessary to leave me in charge of someone. For this tru

y father's brother was selected. He was poor, never having met with t

orldly success that crowned my father's efforts. The allowance he receiv

r caring for me and my inheritance was liberal. Shortly after my father di

y uncle moved to the town where I boarded the train, living in a house whi

as a part of my father's estate."

understand," said the swindler, nodding. "Go on."

According to the terms of my father's will my uncle was to have sole char

my property until I was twenty-five, unless I should before that time get—

t married." The young lady blushed. "It was a stupid provision, in one wa

r it made my uncle take me to that out-of-the-way place, and practicaep me buried alive, for fear I would get married before I was twenty-five.

He wanted to hang on to a good thing," said Nick Smithers, with a laug

But please proceed."

At first I did not understand my uncle's motive, but as I grew older my ey

ere opened, and at last I resolved to—to—well, to get out of his power."

And so you ran away, is that it?"

Yes. This morning I succeeded in eluding my uncle's vigil, and here I am

me away in such a hurry that I brought with me no extra baggage. No dou

ou were surprised to see me enter without so much as an extra wrap."thought you might be going only a short distance."

scarcely know where I am going."

Then you have formed no plans?"

None whatever. I have not had time, and I know so little of the world. Alre for now is, not to fall into the hands of my uncle until—until——"

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You are twenty-five or married," finished the swindler.


May I presume to ask you your present age?"

Yesterday I was twenty-one."

Then, legally, you ought to be your own mistress."

o I thought. That is one thing which gave me the courage to run away."

here was a short spell of silence, during which Nick Smithers did some rap

inking. He felt that here was a chance to make a round sum of money. If thoung lady was rich, it would be a stroke of luck to get her in his power.

o far the swindler had never married. He had once proposed to a fine g

ut she had read him thoroughly, and rejected him. It might not be a b

heme to propose to the girl before him. He could see that she was ve

mantic, and he was willing to do almost anything for money.

feel honored that you have taken me into your confidence," said he. "Perm

e to introduce myself, Lancelot Powers, from Boston. I am traveling for m


am pleased to know you, Mr. Powers. My name is Clara Rosemead, an

y father was Colonel Rosemead, of the International Cable Company."

shall consider it my duty to do all I can for you," went on Nick Smithe

You—you—well, to tell the strict truth, you interest me mightily. In fact, Mi

osemead, I can't help but love you."


trust that you are not offended?" said the swindler, hastily.

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Oh, no, Mr. Powers. But—I didn't quite expect this. But I—I well, I li

ou, too." And again the girl bent her dark brilliant eyes on him.

f you'd marry me you'd make me the happiest man in America!" went

ick Smithers. "It would be so romantic!" he whispered. "Think of how w

et on the cars, and fell in love at sight!"

t would be romantic!" she clasped her hands together. "I'll do it!"

Good! It will be a fine thing to outwit this uncle of yours."

Yes! yes! We must outwit him by all means. If he should learn of what I a


He can learn the truth—after we are married, Clara." And then Ni

mithers gave the girl's hand a tight squeeze. Had they been in a mo

cluded place he would have kissed her.

—I—am happy!" she said, softly.

What do you say to getting married when we reach Albany?" went on twindler. "Then we can return to your home and demand that your uncle ma


shall do as you think best, Lancelot. I know I can trust you," she answere

This is the safest snap yet!" thought Nick Smithers. "Once I get hold of h

oney I can hold her right under my thumb. She has been kept in su

clusion that she knows absolutely nothing of the world at large. And such

auty, too! Nick, for once you have certainly struck it rich!"

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uring the next half-hour Nick Smithers and the young lady became venfidential. She stated that she had just fifty dollars with her, but did n

ow the money.

My uncle is a strange man in some things," she said. "He keeps not less th

n thousand dollars of my money in the house, and all in dollar bills!"

He certainly must be strange," said Nick Smithers. "Well, it will be an eaatter for him to turn over the bills to you."

Yes, Lancelot; but you will have to take care of the money for me."

ll certainly do that," was the swindler's quick reply, and then he smiled

mself, over the glorious prospect ahead.

here was a dining-car attached to the train, and not long after t

nversation recorded above, the swindler asked his bride-to-be if she wou

t take lunch with him.

Why, yes," she answered. "I am very hungry, for I have not eaten anythin

nce yesterday."Then come at once," was the answer, and Nick Smithers led the way into t

ning car. He passed Nat, who was busy devouring a sandwich and a pie

pie, but strange to say neither saw the other.

ick Smithers and the young lady had just ordered an elaborate lunch, wh

a sudden the damsel gave a cry.


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What is the trouble?" questioned the swindler.

Do you see that man?" And the young lady pointed to a small individual wh

d just entered the dining car.

Yes. What of him?"

He is my—my uncle!"

s it possible? Then he must be following you."

He is!"

Well, I shall protect you, so do not fear," whispered Nick Smithe

Remember, we are to be married to-day. He shall not stop you. He can't

for you are twenty-one."

Oh, Lancelot, I—I am so afraid!"

y this time the small man had reached the table at which the couple weated. He stared in amazement.

Hullo, Miss Jacobotson, what are you doing here?" he cried.

Don't touch me!" screamed the young lady, wildly. "Don't touch me."

This young lady is under my protection," came loftily from Nick Smithers.

Really?" said the small man. "Since when?"

Never mind since when. She is under my protection, and I do not want y

molest her."

ay, do you know who she is?" asked the little man, curiously.


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Well, she has got to go back to the asylum, and that is all there is to it."

Asylum?" gasped Nick Smithers.

That is what I said."

ll not go back!" screamed the young lady. "Lancelot, protect me!" and sutched the swindler around the neck.

Do you mean to tell me she belongs in an asylum?" came faintly from Ni


he does. She escaped from the lunatic asylum at Sarville yesterday."

Wha—what is her name?"

Mary Jacobotson. Her mind was turned years ago by reading roman

ovels, and she imagines she has an uncle who is keeping her money aw

om her."

s she under the charge of an uncle?"

No. Her father had her placed in the asylum, for he couldn't keep her

ome. Her father is a well-to-do builder of Hartford."

ll this time the young lady, who was indeed insane, was clinging tightly

ick Smithers' neck.

Don't leave me!" she implored. "I love you! Don't leave me, and you sh

ve a million dollars and a rubber doll! Don't leave me, Augustus! I implo

ee, by the light of yonder stars!" And now she began to rave.

—I reckon I made a mistake," said the swindler, much crestfallen. "Let go

e!" And now he pushed the raving girl from him. The train had stopped a

ation, and in another moment the asylum keeper had the patient on t


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, . .

nking back in his seat at the dining-car table, the swindler mopped the bea

perspiration from his forehead with his handkerchief. He was utte


That is where I certainly put my foot in it," he muttered. "But I can be thank

didn't marry the girl!"

orry, sar, but you'll have to settle for this lunch," said the waiter.

f so, I reckon I'll eat it," answered Nick Smithers, and proceeded to do so

at had watched the whole scene with interest. At first he was inclined

nfront the swindler without delay, but then reconsidered the matter.

must go slow," he mused. "If I'm not careful he'll get away again."

When Nick Smithers left the dining car Nat followed him to the smoker a

w the swindler settle down for a comfortable smoke.

He isn't going to leave the train just yet," thought our hero. "I shouldn't rprised if he is bound for Albany. If that's so, I had better wait until w

rive there. Then we'll be in New York State, where the offense w


he train rattled on, and at the proper time rolled into the big station

lbany. Nat kept close behind Nick Smithers and at the same time look

ound anxiously to see if he could find a policeman.

was not long before our hero sighted an officer of the law, gazing curiou

the crowd leaving the train. At once he beckoned the policeman to come


What's wanted?" asked the officer, anxiously.


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He is a swindler, who is wanted in New York City for swindling several me

d myself. I want him arrested. Be careful how you handle him, for he r

way from me in Springfield."

You are sure of this?"

am positive. But be careful, or he will get away."

He won't get away from me," said the policeman.

ick Smithers was hurrying for the street when Nat and the officer of the lame up to him.

top, Nick Smithers!" cried our hero, and caught him by the arm.

he swindler swung around, stared at Nat, and his face fell.

This is the time you don't get away so easily," went on Nat. "Officer, do yo


You'll have to consider yourself under arrest," said the policeman. "Th

oung man makes a charge against you."

Why, that young man is a lunatic!" cried Nick Smithers, thinking of h

perience on the train. "They let him out of the asylum only day befosterday."

Don't you believe a word of it," said Nat. "This rascal is one of the slick

windlers in the world. Take him to headquarters, and I'll go along and pro

ery word I say."

You'll have to come along," said the officer.

' "

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, , ,n away through the crowd. Nat, however, was on guard, and putting ou

ot, he sent the rascal pitching headlong on the depot platform.

Hi! what did you do that for?" demanded Nick Smithers, on arising. And

ared at our hero as if to eat him up.

You'll come along with me!" came angrily from the policeman, and withoore ceremony he marched the swindler to the police station, with our he




nce at the police station, Nat made a charge against Nick Smithers, and th

e swindler was asked what he had to say for himself.

This is all a mistake," he said. "I am not the person."

He is wanted in Chicago as well as in New York City," went on our hero.the meantime another officer had been looking up Nick Smithers' picture

e rogues' gallery.

don't think the young man is mistaken," he said. "Wait till I telephone

ew York for more particulars."

his was done, and inside of an hour the rascal's identity was fully establishe


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You will have to ask Mr. Garwell about that. He wanted me to sign certa

ocuments, and let you take them to New York to-night. Can you do that?"

think I can. But the police may wish to detain me." And then our hero to

the arrest of Nick Smithers. Mr. Sampson became interested, and in t

d went to the station with Nat. He knew some of the officials, so our hed no more trouble.

We shall send the rascal to New York as soon as the officers down the

ant him," said one of the police officials; and, later on, this was done.

ot to lose time, our hero took the night train for the metropolis. He had

rth in the sleeper, but it was a long while before he could get to sleep. Theere many things to think about, and the question of property near Cent

ark was an absorbing one.

rriving in New York, he went to his boarding house for breakfast, and th

urried down to the office. It was not until ten o'clock that John Garw

peared.Did you get the papers from Mr. Sampson?" was his employer's fi


Yes, sir."

And fix up those matters at Springfield, too?"

Yes, Mr. Garwell, and I did some other things, too," added Nat. "I had th

scal, Hamilton Dart, alias Nick Smithers, arrested."

s it possible! Tell me the particulars," and Nat did so. "We must do what w

n to get your money back. This chap may have some property somewher

Well, even if I don't get the money back, it's a satisfaction to put him whe


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erhaps you'll not be so anxious to get that hundred dollars after you

ard what I have to tell, Nat," went on John Garwell, with a quiet smile.

What have you to tell, Mr. Garwell?"

t's about that property in which your grandfather and your father weterested."

s there a share coming to me?"


What is it worth?"That remains to be learned. The hotel folks want all that tract of land, a

ld you. I shall advise you to hold out for sixty thousand dollars."

ixty thousand dollars!" gasped Nat, thinking he had not heard aright.


Do you mean to say that you think my share in that property is worth six

ousand dollars?"

Either that or pretty close to it. I would not take a cent less than fifty-fi

ousand dollars."

t's a—a fortune!"

certainly is a neat sum of money for any lad to fall heir to. I trust, if you

t it, that you invest it wisely."

ll do my best to do that, Mr. Garwell. But this—stumps me! Sixty thousa

ollars! What will Uncle Abner say when he hears of it!"

m afraid he will be a bit jealous. I'm jealous myself," added the real est

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oker, with a twinkle in his eye.

know you are not," answered Nat, honestly. "Just the same, sir, if I get th

oney, you are going to have your full share for helping me get it."

Well, I shan't object to my regular commission."

And you are going to have more," added Nat, firmly.

The way matters have turned out will make that Shanley of Brooklyn sic

ntinued John Garwell. "And it will make Rufus Cameron sick, too. T

usiness will be transacted entirely through me, and they will not get a cent


Well, I'm glad to get back at Rufus Cameron," answered Nat. "I have

rgotten how he treated me."

His aunt will have nothing more to do with him. He has got to supp


hope it makes a man of him," said our hero.

he next three weeks were busy ones for Nat. He had to appear against Ni

mithers, who was brought to New York, tried, and sentenced to sever

ars in prison. It was found that there was money coming to the swindl

d through this our hero and the others who had put up their money

sitions with "Hamilton Dart," received what was coming to them.was great of you to run him down," said the sick man to Nat. "This retu

money will please my sister."

And I am thankful too," added Harry Bray.

he day after Nick Smithers was convicted the deal concerning the prope

ar Central Park was closed. It was shown that a part of the property rea


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,ver to the youth for this. But this was not until he was of age.

Nat's a rich man now," said Abner Balberry, when the youth became twenty

ne. "He's got a reg'lar fortune."

You shall have something of this, Uncle Abner," said our hero, and he gav

s uncle five thousand dollars in cash. He also gave the same amount to Joarwell.

the meantime our hero had stuck close to the real-estate business, a

arned it thoroughly. He was still John Garwell's private clerk.

Are you going to leave me, now you have your fortune?" questioned the r

tate broker, anxiously.

Do you want me to leave?"

No, indeed!"

How would you like to take me in as a partner, Mr. Garwell?"

d like it first-rate, Nat—in fact, I was going to mention that myself."

Then let us form a partnership," and this was done without delay. The ne

m, prospered from the very start, much to the satisfaction of all concerned

the meantime, Nat did not forget his old friends the Talcotts. Although h

longer lived with them, he visited them often. He learned through tidow that her son was anxious to buy out the store in which he worked. T

ice was twelve hundred dollars, and one day Nat bought it, and had t

ansfer made out in Dick's name.

You deserve this, Dick," said he. "When I was a stranger and mighty gre

ou did your best by me."

' " " '

Page 202: From Farm to Fortune - Horatio Alger

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, , , . , ou are."

And how about being green?"

You're not green any more. You're as smart as they make 'em!"

nce then the years have rolled on. Nat is still in business and is doing wee has married and settled down in New York City; and here we will leav



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Page 205: From Farm to Fortune - Horatio Alger

7/28/2019 From Farm to Fortune - Horatio Alger 205/216

ck is sent to South America on a business trip, and while there he hears

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opped by enemies, and the heroes land among the wild Indians of Patagon

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d of Project Gutenberg's From Farm to Fortune, by Horatio Alger



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